Elite forces arrest 5 suspects in Gaza

Troops have rarely apprehended terror suspects in the Strip since pullout.

troops in action, good,  (photo credit: AP [file])
troops in action, good,
(photo credit: AP [file])
In a rare arrest operation, special forces raided the Sajaya neighborhood in Gaza City early Tuesday morning and arrested five Palestinians allegedly in the midst of planning terror attacks against Israel. Policemen from the Border Police's elite Yamam counter-terror unit surrounded a home in which the suspects were believed to be hiding. A gunfight ensued, during which one of the suspects was wounded. One soldier was lightly wounded by shrapnel from one of five anti-tank rocket fired at the troops. Five men, including two known Hamas operatives, were captured and transferred to Israel for questioning. The three other captured men were said to be terror suspects, although the military would not provide additional details except that they were wanted for involvement in the digging of tunnels from Gaza into Israel. Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in June after they crossed into Israel via a tunnel and attacked his IDF outpost near Kerem Shalom. Inside the home, which was secured by troops from the Givati Brigade, policemen found large quantities of weapons. The raid was one of the few cases in which the IDF arrested suspects inside the Gaza Strip since disengagement a year ago. Late Monday night, the IAF bombed two buildings, one in the northern Gaza refugee camp of Jabalya and the other in Rafah in the south. Residents were warned to leave the area before the attacks. IDF troops also killed three Palestinians spotted carrying large bags near the Gaza security fence overnight Monday. The IDF said that the bags were filled with equipment to be used in terror attacks. In a separate operation in southern Gaza, the IDF moved into farmland near Khan Yunis, firing machine guns into the fields after calling on farmers to evacuate the area, Palestinian Authority security officials said. Cameramen filming the operation said they came under fire, but were not wounded. The army said troops were searching for tunnels in the area. Palestinians fired anti-tank missiles at troops who returned fire, the army said. Also Tuesday, a force of reservists thwarted a terror attack after arresting two terror suspects - Sawfahi Walid and Iman Saud - in Jericho. The IDF said that Walid planned to detonate an explosive device in a city in the center of the country. AP contributed to this report.