The Yamam counter-terror unit in action. (Nati Shohat/Flash90) Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Yamam counter-terror unit

‘Over Shabbat, the IDF foiled a ticking bomb,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israeli Special Forces were successful in tracking down and killing an Islamic Jihad terror cell that was in a car, apparently on its way to carry out a terror attack again Israelis.

The Police stated that in a joint operation that involved the elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit and the Shin Bet security service, three terrorists were killed Friday night in a shootout that occurred between Jenin and Tulkarm.

The terrorist cell was armed with assault rifles, grenades, and other weapons.

The terrorist cell had recently been involved in terrorist activities against the security forces, and was apparently on its way to another attack, the IDF stated.

Four members of the Special Forces unit were wounded in the incident, including one in serious condition. They were taken by helicopter to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Two were released from the hospital on Saturday. The casualty hospitalized in serious condition is in the intensive care unit while on life support. The fourth patient is now in a light condition and will be released on Sunday.

The three terrorists were identified as Khalil Tawalbeh, from Jenin, Saeb Abahreh, from al-Yamoun, near Jenin, and Saif Abu Libdeh, from Tulkarm.

Another fourth cell member was arrested while armed in the Tul Karem area.

‘There Will Be Many More Attack Attempts’

“We are in the midst of a joint effort by the security forces to stop the recent terrorist attacks from continuing and to restore security to the citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said during a visit to the Israeli Security Agency on Saturday evening.

“Over Shabbat, the ISA, the Israel Police, the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit and the IDF foiled a ticking bomb,” added the prime minister

“However,” Bennett added, “we are certainly assuming that there will be many more attempts and we are currently working to thwart them. Our people are acting with courage round the clock in a hostile and violent environment. I would like to wish a quick recovery to those who were wounded in action.”

Speaking of the casualty in serious condition, Deputy Commander S., he said that he met him several months ago at the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit base.

“He is one of the State of Israel’s best field commanders. This evening I spoke with the commander of the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit who described to me the details of the incident and we all wish a quick recovery to those who were wounded,” he said.

“The goal is to stop the terrorists wherever they are, preferably in the planning stages than in the implementation stages or at the actual site,” Bennet stated.

“Therefore, we are taking care that in tandem with our initiated actions in the field, there will be more forces deployed around the country in order to stop this wave at the outset. The police are on an expanded deployment. The IDF has greatly boosted its presence on Israel’s streets. Our goal is to maintain a daily routine with maximum civilian alert and vigorous actions by the security forces,” he explained.

Bracing for Ramadan Violence

The Islamic Jihad announced in response to the operation that it “swears to continue the mission of resistance to Israel and its attacks as an expression of the will of the Palestinian people.”

Security tensions in Israel are high, after a series of terror attacks in the Jerusalem area, the murder of four Israelis in Beersheba, the murder of another two in Hadera by Islamist terrorists, and the latest attack in Bnei Brak which left five dead, and ahead of the Muslim month of Ramadan, which usually spells an uptick in Muslim violence and acts of terrorism in Israel.

The country’s security establishment is bracing for violence, especially as Ramadan coincides with Passover, and following the first anniversary of Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, which was launched by the IDF following a Hamas rocket attack on Jerusalem that began at the height of the Month of Ramadan.

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