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Sunday, April 04, 2004


Arutz Sheva: In a wide-ranging, multi-target offensive over the Sabbath, the IDF captured practically the entire leadership of Hamas in Shechem, which was engaged in planning a large suicide attack in Israel within the next two days.

The offensive, which netted no fewer than 26 Hamas terrorists, included almost all the special units in the IDF: Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance), Fleet 13, the Duvdevan undercover unit, and the Yamam Special Forces. One armed Arab youth was wounded, but the IDF suffered no casualties or injuries.

In February 2003, the IDF largely cleaned out Shechem - Nablus, located in the heart of Samaria between Herzliya and the Jordan River - of Hamas terrorists. The organization made a gradual recovery there, and the city has in fact served lately as Hamas terrorism headquarters. Intelligence gathered over the past several weeks enabled the Israeli forces to swoop down simultaneously on some ten different targets in which the terrorists were hiding, and most of the leading murderers sought were captured.

The intelligence services have received nearly 60 terrorist warnings - close to a record number - of possible attacks throughout the country, reports Arutz-7's Kobi Finkler. The army and police continue to be on very high alert, in view of the upcoming Passover holiday and the continuing threats to avenge the killing of arch-terrorist Sheikh Ahmed Yassin almost two weeks ago. Yesha towns are considered to be likely targets, as the tight security will make terrorist infiltrations into pre-1967 Israel very difficult.

An Israeli soldier in the northern Shomron was shot and moderately wounded this afternoon by armed Arab gunmen. The attack occurred near the community of Kadim.

Ten other wanted terrorists of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad were arrested last night, in the Hevron, Bethlehem and Ramallah regions... This afternoon, IDF forces engaged a terrorist cell in Tul Karem, wounding several and killing the one who is suspected to have dispatched the terrorist of this past Friday night's murderous attack... Two terrorists were apprehended on the Jerusalem-Modiin Highway (Rt. 443) last night. They were carrying spikes and a tire to set ablaze and place on the road, as well as firebombs... Another Arab terrorist was apprehended on Friday while cutting the security fence of the community of Maaleh Hever near Hevron...

In Gaza, IDF forces shot on Friday night at two suspicious figures approaching the Gaza perimeter fence in central Gaza. Yesterday morning, the body of a terrorist was found at the site, lying aside two large explosive bomb-packs, weighing 20 and 10 kilograms, respectively... Another armed terrorist was killed in a similar manner near the Karni-Netzarim road on Friday afternoon... A large bomb was detected in southern Gaza this morning, and was neutralized in a controlled explosion... Two Kassam rockets were launched from Gaza at a Negev kibbutz this morning, causing no damage.

Israeli army forces discovered a large arms-smuggling tunnel yesterday, and Givati Brigade engineering forces blew it up. The tunnel, used to smuggle in arms and explosives - and sometimes terrorists - from Egypt to Gaza, was 600 meters (660 yards) long and 20 meters (22 yards) deep. The forces were attacked during the operation, but no one was hurt.