As part of continuing intelligence and operational activity of the IDF Central Command, the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, the Israel Security Agency (ISA), the Israel Police's "Yamam" unit and the "Mista'arvim" undercover unit, including a series of operations during the last few weeks against a heavily-armed cell of the Hamas terrorist organization, Israeli forces took action overnight to arrest wanted men in five separate operations in the area of Judea and Samaria.
During the overnight raids against the terror cell, at least five terrorists were killed, others were wounded, and a number of terrorists were captured, along with guns and other weapons. The operation was directed from the joint command center of the IDF, the ISA and the "Yamam" unit.
In an operation near Biddu village in the operational area of the Benyamin Brigade, during exchanges of fire between "Yamam" forces and a number of Hamas terrorists, three terrorists were killed. Also, in the area of Jenin in the operational area of the Menashe Brigade, five terrorists suspected of being part of the same cell that planned to carry out terrorist attacks were arrested.
During the arrest of a wanted man by a force from the IDF's elite "Duvdevan" unit in the village of Burqin, there was a gunfight at close range in the yard of the house, during which an officer, identified only as Capt. "D" and an active-duty soldier, identified only as Sgt. "Y", were seriously wounded while attacking the terrorist.
The possibility that they were hit by friendly fire is also being checked. The terrorist was arrested, and a number of weapons used by the wanted men were captured at the scene. Medical forces provided life-saving treatment to the wounded, and then evacuated them by helicopter to Rambam hospital.
Shortly afterwards, gunmen opened fire on a force from the Israel Police's "Mista'arvim" undercover unit operating in Burqin. The force returned fire and neutralized the terrorists, who had opened fire from close range. A "Carlo" submachine gun that was used to shoot at them was handed over to the security forces. In addition, the force arrested another terrorist who shot at the forces from a passing vehicle. Others who were part of the terror cell are being questioned by the ISA.
Following the incidents, the IDF Chief of Staff, Lieut. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, visited the Menashe Brigade on Sunday. During the visit, he held a situational assessment meeting in which the latest developments in the area and the readiness of forces for various scenarios were discussed, with the participation of the head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs; the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Alalouf; the commander of the Menashe regional brigade, Col. Arik Moyal; Police Commander "C" of the "Yamam" unit; and other commanders.