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Thousands of policemen and IDF soldiers deployed throughout the country on Sunday as the defense establishment, recording over 70 terror threats, raised the level of alert in preparation for Tuesday's general elections.
But besides its defensive deployment, the army also went on the offensive and, in an early-morning raid on the village of Yamoun near Jenin, troops shot and wounded an Islamic Jihad fugitive. In Gaza, troops shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who was spotted crawling along the security fence near the Bureij refugee camp. Palestinian hospital officials identified the teen as 16-year-old Hamad Hamdan of Deir el-Balah in southern Gaza.
The army said it planned to step up its operations within West Bank cities in an effort to nab terrorists and prevent infiltrations into Israel. On Tuesday, 22,000 police and
Border Policemen will deploy at entrances to major cities and entertainment spots deemed possible targets by terror groups. The number of terror threats, security officials predicted, would continue to increase as the elections grew closer.
In response to the growing number of Kassam rockets fired at Israel over the weekend, IAF aircraft on Sunday fired missiles at access roads to sites used by terror cells to launch the rockets in the northern Gaza Strip.
At the beginning of the month, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested two Islamic Jihad operatives at the Erez crossing who were in the midst of planning terror attacks against Israel, it was released for publication on Sunday. Samih Hadad, security officials said, was arrested on March 7 after he tried using fake medical documents to enter Israel, where he said he was supposed to collect an explosives belt and perpetrate a suicide bombing.
Several days before Hadad's arrest, security officials apprehended Palestinian bomb expert Ihab Titi, 25, who was sent by the Islamic Jihad to the West Bank to establish a terror base there that would target IDF troops and settlers. Titi was also ordered to try and kidnap soldiers or Israeli civilians to be used as bargaining chips to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners.
"The arrest of these operatives demonstrates Islamic Jihad's continued efforts to attack Israeli targets and create a terror infrastructure in the West Bank," security officials said.