3 Islamic Jihad terrorists arrested near Tulkarm amid armed clashes

Shots were fired early in the morning on a house in Avnei Hefetz in the West Bank.

 IDF soldiers in the West Bank. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF soldiers in the West Bank.

Three members of a local branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades were arrested after armed clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm on Sunday morning, shortly after shots were fired at the nearby settlement of Avnei Hefetz.

No Israelis were injured in the shooting at Avnei Hefetz, although one house in the settlement was hit by bullets.

Israeli forces who entered Nur Shams surrounded a house in the camp amid the clashes and arrested three Palestinians, identified as Bahaa Fayyad and Wissam and Abd Abu Libdeh. Wissam and Abd are brothers of Saif Abu Libdeh, the founder of the local branch of the al-Quds Brigades.

Saif Abu Libdeh was killed along with two other terrorists in a gunfight with Israeli forces near Jenin last April.

The local branch of the al-Quds Brigades announced that it took part in the clashes, saying "we announce the renewal of our blessed launch."

A separate terrorist group called the Tulkarm Brigade-Rapid Response terrorist group also announced that they fired at Israeli forces as part of the clashes. On Thursday, the IDF, Border Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Thursday shot and killed the leader of the group, Amir Abu Khadija, in the northern West Bank village of Izbat Shufah near Tulkarm.

Who was the terrorist who was killed?

According to a joint statement by the Israeli security forces, the terrorist, identified as Amir Abu Khadija, had been involved in multiple shooting attacks both on Jewish villages and on the IDF position at Teenim.

During that operation, the terrorist’s main co-conspirator was captured and was transferred to the Shin Bet for interrogation.

The Tulkarm Brigade, which Khadija helped found and lead, first began conducting attacks in January, although Palestinian media reported that the group was formed at the end of last year. The group only formally announced its establishment in late February.

According to Palestinian reports, the group is closely affiliated with the Lions' Den group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Jenin Battalion and is part of an effort to mimic the situation during the Second Intifada in which Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm were centers of terrorist activity.