(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Summary of IDF activity in the Gaza Strip
In the past week, IDF forces operated in the Gaza Strip in order to distance terrorist organizations, particularly Hamas, from the security fence. IDF forces also operated this week by ground and by air in order to prevent rocket and mortar shell launchings into Israel by targeting the terrorist organizations in 10 different incidents and hitting rocket and mortar shell launching squads.
On Saturday, January 12, due to the continuing rocket and mortar shell fire at Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, the IDF carried out an aerial strike hitting a Hamas training facility in the central Gaza Strip.
In a joint IDF and ISA operation Sunday, January 13, the IDF carried out an attack against a vehicle carrying Nidal Amudi and Maher Navhuh. Amudi, a member of the Al Aqsa terror organization, took part in rocket launching at Israel. Navhuh, a member of the PRC, was involved in the execution of terror attacks against Israelis.
On Tuesday, January 15, IDF ground forces, with the assistance of the Air Force, operated in the northern Gaza Strip against mortar launching squads that launched mortars at Israeli communities in the western Negev. During the activity, the IDF targeted a number of mortar launching squads and hit a number of armed gunmen. That same day, a 20 year-old Ecuadorian volunteer was shot and killed near the security fence by a Palestinian sniper near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha in the central Gaza Strip region.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the IDF targeted and identified hitting several rocket and mortar shell launching squads in Northern Gaza after they fired projectiles at Israel.
On Wednesday, January 16, the IDF targeted and identified hitting a vehicle loaded with weaponry in the central Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, January 17, the IDF attacked and identified hitting a vehicle carrying two members of the Islamic Jihad terror organization, responsible for the manufacturing of Kassam rockets in Northern Gaza. In two other incidents, IDF attacked and identified hitting Kassam launchers in northern Gaza and a Kassam launching cell after they fired rockets at Israel.
On Friday, January 18, 2007, the IDF attacked and identified hitting a rocket launching cell in northern Gaza after they fired rockets at Israel. In addition, IDF aircrafts attacked a post of the Hamas terrorist organization, in the central Gaza Strip as well as a Hamas headquarters in Northern Gaza and identified a direct hit. The aerial attack followed the continuous launching of Kassam rockets and mortar shells at Israeli territories. Another aerial attack was carried out against Kassam rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip.
On Friday night, IDF ground forces, with the assistance of the Air Force, operated against terrorist organizations in launching areas in the northern Gaza Strip. On various occasions during the operation, the forces targeted and identified hitting armed gunmen. Four members of the Hamas terrorist organization opened fire at IDF forces from a building, housing women and children, near Jabalya during an exchange of fire that erupted in the area. The men were armed with AK47 assault riffles and grenades. The wanted Palestinians surrendered and were taken for questioning in Israel by IDF forces along with several other Palestinian suspects.
In the past week, over 130 Kassams were launched at Israeli communities surrounding Gaza. In addition, over 80 mortar shells were launched at communities and at IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip.
Summary of IDF activity in the Judea and Samaria region
In the past week IDF forces continued to operate against terrorist organizations in the Judea and Samaria region and in the Jordan Valley in order to prevent the execution of terrorist attacks in the Israeli home front and in Judea and Samaria.
On Wednesday morning, January 16, 2008, in a joint IDF and ISA arrest operation, in the city of Qabatya, south of Jenin, Walid Abid, head of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in northern Samaria, was killed during exchanges of fire. An M-16 assault rifle was later discovered on his body. An additional Islamic Jihad terror operative, Ibrahim Fuad Ibrahim Abu-Rob, 23, was arrested. Abu-Rob was released from jail in Israel in October 2007 only to return to take part in terrorist activities.
Abid was directly responsible for several murderous suicide bombings, amongst them the planning of the April 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in which eleven civilians were killed and dozens injured. In addition, Abid was also involved in manufacturing and supplying ammunitions for numerous attacks, to be executed by the Islamic Jihad, including the production of the explosive devices and belts.
On Thursday it was released for publication that on December 17, 2007 an explosives laboratory was discovered in the area of Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. In the laboratory, numerous chemical substances used for the manufacturing of explosives and an 8kg explosive device, were discovered. In addition, the four Islamic Jihad cell members responsible for the manufacturing of explosives in the laboratory were arrested. The cell members admitted during their questioning that they planned on planting an explosive device on the railway tracks leading from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which pass by Batir village, west of Bethlehem.
During IDF activity over the past week, IDF forces discovered a rifle, a mortar shell, a grenade, an illuminating bomb, an improvised weapon, an M-16 assault rifle, Negev rifle bullets and a mortar coil. In addition, Palestinians opened fire at IDF forces.
In the past week, IDF forces arrested 65 wanted Palestinians in the region of Judea and Samaria.