Israel security forces killed three Salafist jihadi terrorists hiding out in the city of Yatta, immediately south of Hevron, early Tuesday evening after trying to arrest them before they could carry out terrorist operations against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Two of the terrorists opened fire on Special Forces soldiers who shot at their car in an attempt to arrest them, and the troops returned fired and killed them. A third suspect was found later and was killed in a gun battle, without injures to Israeli forces.
The terrorists had been staying in Yatta for several months, and soldiers found explosives and two hand guns in their car after the clash.
Israel has granted the Palestinian Authority the freedom to control security in the areas, but once again it was Israeli forces who foiled a plot that was aimed at killing as many Jews as possible or kidnapping a soldier for ransom to force Israel to free more terrorists.
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not commented on the incident.
The presence of Salafist terrorists in the Palestinian Authority represents an extreme depending of the terrorist infrastructure that the Palestinian Authority for more than two decades has been committed to dismantle.
“Investigations indicate that the members of the network were planning different terror attacks against Israeli targets and against the Palestinian Authority,” the IDF stated. “Over the past few months the members of the terrorist network acted to organize an expanded terror infrastructure which included preparing and manufacturing explosives, purchasing weapons and arranging an apartment for hiding.”
The military added that the cell “was planning to execute a terror attack in the upcoming days.”
“The terrorists were members of a Salafist Jihad terrorist cell that was planning an attack in the coming days,” said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.
The Salafist network extended from the area of Yatir, south of Hevron-Kiryat Arba, all the way to Shechem in the north, according to the IDF. Security forces arrested a number of members of the terrorist network before Tuesday’s counter terrorist operation.
“This terrorist network is just a sample of those who try to harm Israeli civilians and undermine the existing security stability,” said IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “Operational access combined with quality intelligence gives us the upper hand on these evildoers and their beastly intentions. It is our obligation to prevent them from fulfilling their detestable fantasies .”
The presence of the jihadist network in the southern and northern ends of Judea and Samaria, and the IDF operation to eliminate it, are testimony against constant claims by the Obama administration that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is controlling terror.