Counter-terrorism updates

The IDF has achieved a couple of successful strikes against Palestinian terrorism in recent days.

The discovered tunnel in a handout photo released by the IDF, March 21, 2014. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)

The first occurred at the weekend when IDF soldiers uncovered a huge tunnel  (yet another one) – leading from Gaza hundreds of meters into Israel.

Earlier this week the IDF exposed the opening of a tunnel built by Gaza terrorists near Israeli civilian communities. The tunnel’s opening is hundreds of meters inside Israel and it varies in depth. The investigation of the tunnel is ongoing.

In 2013, three such tunnels were discovered along the Gaza-Israel security fence.

The last tunnel found by IDF soldiers in Gaza was discovered on October 7, 2013, near Israeli civilian communities. It was approximately 18 meters underground and extended 1.7 kilometers, and was successfully detonated by the IDF on November 1, 2013.

“The exposure of this tunnel was based on intelligence, and boots on the ground in the vicinity of the Gaza security fence,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said, ”Our operational assumption is that Hamas and other terror organizations continue to tunnel and prepare points of attack against Israel and its civilians.  This advanced tunnel was intended to pose a direct link and threat to Israeli territory, and enable Hamas terrorists to reach and harm Israeli civilians. Tunnels such as this are built to assist terrorists in the execution of terror attacks.  In the past Gaza terrorists have utilized such tunnels to Israel for infiltration, detonation and abduction of Israeli citizens.”

The Times of Israel adds:

In a separate statement the IDF said the tunnel represented an effort to undermine Israeli sovereignty and that it violated the ceasefire brokered with Hamas after 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza.


The army official said a generator and other tools had been found in the tunnel, attesting to the fact that work had been done on it recently.


Preempting the IDF announcement, Hamas Thursday night had said the IDF had found an “old” tunnel already blown up by the army that the terror group had begun to repair. At a press conference, the group’s Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades military wing said a winter storm had exposed the tunnel, and not the IDF.


But Sami Turgeman, the IDF’s southern command chief, said the tunnel was still being expanded when it was found, and that there was evidence of work being done on it within the last few days.

Will Israel cut off the import of cement into Gaza once again, and if so, how long before the world screams bloody murder at Israel for its inhumanity?  Meanwhile, we can wait for a UN condemnation of the tunnel-building in 3…2…1…. crickets…

And meanwhile the Gaza terrorists keep on digging – always working their way down into the bowels of the earth instead of building their people up.

House in which Al-Haija was hiding

The second success for the IDF was the killing of a Hamas terrorist in Jenin on Saturday after he opened fire on the troops who were trying to arrest him. Three more Palestinians were killed when they tried to intervene:

A Hamas terrorist shot and wounded two security personnel as Israeli forces tried to arrest him in Jenin. The Israeli forces returned fire and killed the terrorist. After rioters hurled explosives and other weapons at the forces, they returned fire again and killed several other terrorists.



The IDF and ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet Security Service) carried out an overnight operation in Jenin Saturday to arrest an armed Hamas operative. The suspect, Hamza Abu Alhija, was wanted for involvement in shooting and bombing attacks as well as planning future terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. During the mission, Abu Alhija barricaded himself with other operatives in his house. Security forces operated in order to bring the suspect to surrender himself, Abu Alhija opened fire at the forces, wounding two security personnel and then attempted to escape while continuing to shoot. The security personnel responded with fire, killing the terrorist.An extreme violent riot developed at the scene, in which Palestinians hurled rocks, IED’s and firebombs at the forces, who responded with accurate fire, killing several other terrorists.

Ynet explains that this was no mere arrest, but a ticking time-bomb, and gives us more details and background:

Hamza Abu Al-Haija, one of the three killed in Jenin during the IDF’s overnight raid, was a “ticking time bomb,” who was instructed by Hamas to commit a terror attack against settlers and IDF troops in the near future, a senior IDF official said Saturday.

An initial debriefing of the incident in Jenin showed that the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division had been closely tracing Al-Haija’s movements in recent days, after a months’ long manhunt for the wanted Hamas man.

The compound in which he was hiding was discovered Friday night inside the Jenin refugee camp. An elite Border Guard counter-terrorism unit, the Yamam, encircled the building, while a number of other IDF units secured the perimeter.

The joint operation included soldiers from the Kfir Brigade and Netzah Yehuda Battalion, a haredi unit, as well as troops from the Border Guard.

The debriefing showed that the soldiers were greeted with gunfire from Al-Haija when they entered the compound. The soldiers asked the residents to exit the building, and shot warning rounds.

Meanwhile, the terrorist continued shooting at the Israeli soldiers. Within minutes dozens of armed Palestinians came to the location and opened fire on the IDF and Border Guard troops.

At this stage, the Yamam send an attack dog in the compound – it was shot to death by Al-Haija. After a short intermission, the Hamas man exited the house while firing at the Israeli forces. Two Yamam soldiers were lightly injured from the shooting but managed to return fire, killing the 22-year-old terrorist.

[…]

“Around us was a battle between armed gunmen and perimeter security. This was not riot,” emphasized a senior official in Central Command, “There could have been 15 Palestinian casualties and they all would have been killed legally and according to the rules of engagement.”

The same source added that this was the reason the forces operated proportionally. He also said the two other men killed and all of the injured personnel were known terrorists.

The article gives us more background to the terror situation in Jenin:

The source noted that “we are looking at the thwarting of a ‘ticking time bomb’ and not another arrest. The wanted man was directed by Hamas officials in Gaza, including those released in the (Gilad) Shalit deal, to commit a terror attack in the immediate future simultaneously on a settlement and on IDF forces.”

The military sources added that despite the reputation of the Jenin refugee camp as a Fatah stronghold, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have built their own terror infrastructure in the camp.

Returning to the issue of “proportionality” mentioned earlier, in case anyone should dispute the IDF’s actions, they were filmed with a helmet-camera, and the video can be seen at Ynet here, though it’s rather hard to make out what is happening in the half-light.

I think it’s both sad and outrageous that the IDF feels the need to justify itself and explain the proportionality of its actions for the world to sit in judgement. No other army in the world is expected to have to justify itself thus – not even the much maligned Americans, and certainly not the Russians. Just ask the Ukrainians.

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2 Responses to Counter-terrorism updates

  1. Earl says:

    Quite apart from all the other countless “Palestinian” outrages (including last week’s shipment of Syrian/Iranian rockets), this latest IDF success should permit Bibi (Yaalon?) to tell Kerry to Go Pound Sand. Until there is not one Jew left in Israel will the medievalists cease the terror campaign. Dar al-Islam v. dar al-harb, and all that…

    And meanwhile the Gaza terrorists keep on digging – always working their way down into the bowels of the earth instead of building their people up.

    Very deft, anne. That is it, in a nutshell.

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