Three terrorists dead in firefight with Counterterrorism Unit

The Shin Bet said that terrorists killed on Friday night had committed terror attacks in the past and planned more in the near future.

 Palestinians take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022. (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Palestinians take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022.
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

Three members of a terror cell were killed in a firefight with Border Police's Counterterrorism Unit officers in Araba near Jenin on Friday night, according to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service).

They were later identified as belonging to the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which vowed after the incident to continue fighting Israel "in the name of the Palestinian people."

The movement "held the enemy fully responsible for this crime, stressing that this blood will not be in vain, and they will continue to fight the enemy, confront it, and respond to its crimes with determination and steadfastness, no matter how much the sacrifices may be,” according to the statement shared by them.

The terrorists were responsible for a previous terror attack in Tulkarm, and intelligence determined that they were on the way to carry out another large-scale attack; they were defined by the Shin Bet as "ticking time-bombs."

Security forces were monitoring the cell for hours on Friday and eventually began a car chase after their car. The terrorists eventually opened fire at the forces, who fired back and killed them.

Four officers were injured in the fight. Two of them were lightly injured, one was moderately injured with wounds to his lower body, and the fourth was severely injured and was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is in stable condition, according to Dr. Hani Bacchus, head of the Trauma Unit at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center.

 A rifle used by terrorists near Jenin who were killed on April 2, 2022 in a gun fight with officers from the Israel Police's Counter Terrorism Unit. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) A rifle used by terrorists near Jenin who were killed on April 2, 2022 in a gun fight with officers from the Israel Police's Counter Terrorism Unit. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Various weapons were found in their car, including guns and grenades. 

A will was also found in the car, encouraging the continuation of terror attacks against Israelis. A video on social media showed one of the terrorists reading out the will prior to setting out for the attack.

The IDF and Shin Bet later on Saturday arrested a man suspected of being the fourth member of the cell, in a joint operation of the IDF Special Forces unit Duvdevan and Shin Bet operatives in the town of Shweikha near Tulkarm.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev commended the police force for killing the terrorists and the Shin Bet for providing the intelligence in real time.

"[This is the] third incident this week in which the Israel Police - spread over all its branches, Border Police, riot control and tonight the special counterterrorism unit - served as buffers between terror and the citizens of Israel and overcame the terrorists," Bar Lev wrote on Twitter.

"Kudos to the Israel Police. My heart is with the families of those who fell, and [I wish] a [full] recovery for the wounded," he wrote.

Three terror attacks in the last two weeks have left 11 people dead. As a result, security forces have been making arrests in Jenin and other places in the West Bank. Some of these arrests have been met with violent resistance.