An overnight IDF operation spanning multiple locations in Judea and Samaria that was part of a broader week-long counterterrorism effort is believed to have prevented “significant terrorist attacks” according to comments from IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. Kochavi’s assessment of the operation, part of a larger report posted to the IDF website as translated from Hebrew by Google Translate, said the counterterrorism campaign has “seriously thwarted this network” of terrorists. The IDF website report said that at least five terrorists were killed in the operation that started on Saturday night, while two Israeli soldiers were seriously injured. Other terrorists were wounded and arrested, while weapons were also apprehended.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement the Saturday night operation was “against Hamas terrorists who were about to carry out terrorist attacks in real-time.”
Said Bennett, in the comments published by his office, “The soldiers and commanders in the field acted as expected; they engaged the enemy and we back them completely.”
Not surprisingly, Hamas not only condemned the Israeli counterterrorism operation, they also threatened revenge and called for more “resistance” efforts, which is a term regularly used for terrorism and other actions such as protests.
“Hamas affirms that the blood of the martyrs will not be wasted, and our Palestinian people, led by the leaders of Hamas and its members, will remain at the forefront of the ranks to confront” Israel, said a press statement posted to the Hamas website.
“We call on the masses of our Palestinian people in the valiant West Bank to escalate the resistance against the occupier at all points of contact.”
The IDF Twitter account said the Saturday night operation was “based on accurate intelligence and was able to “stop Hamas terrorists from carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians… We will continue to keep Israel safe.”
The IDF website report said there were multiple exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and terrorists in areas in and around multiple villages, including the incident in which Captain D. and Sergeant Y were injured when they “stormed” a terrorist. The IDF noted that friendly fire was also being investigated as a possible cause for the wounds. The injured soldiers were given “life-saving treatment” and then evacuated to Rambam hospital.
The Times of Israel reported that in total, at least seven Hamas terror cell members were arrested on Saturday—part of the 20 terror cell members recently apprehended. Four of the terrorists were killed in gun battles, according to the Times of Israel report, while the fifth was killed in a riot that broke out in response to the operation. The complex mission that began Saturday night was conducted jointly by the IDF, Shin Bet, Israel Border Police and the Israel Police.
While the Saturday night raid was more dramatic than usual, Kochavi put it into a broader context of Israeli efforts to stop terror.
“Every week [the IDF] arrests dozens of terrorists and operatives in activities that combine initiative, intelligence and advanced technology. [Last night], as per usual, impressive operational capabilities were demonstrated by ground forces and IDF troops,” Kochavi, was quoted as saying in a series of posts to the IDF Twitter account.
“I would like to give my well-wishes for the fast recovery of the wounded soldiers from [last] night’s incidents. We will continue to operate in every arena and region, ensuring the protection of the residents of Israel.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 26, 2021)