Despite widespread arrests in West Bank villages and severe travel restrictions, security forces have not succeeded in apprehending the perpetrators of Sunday's fatal drive-by shooting that killed three Israelis.
Security sources said the manhunt was now focusing on intelligence. There were high alerts for more attacks following the killing of a top Islamic Jihad cell leader near Jenin on Sunday, which the terrorist organization vowed to avenge.
Acting on government orders, IDF forces enforced a total ban on Palestinian private vehicles on Route 60, the main north-south highway in the West Bank. Army earth-moving machines blocked most access roads leading from villages and towns onto the highway.
Only Israeli vehicles or Palestinian public transportation were allowed to travel on the highway from the Tapuah junction to Adam, just north of Jerusalem. Private Palestinian vehicles were also barred from the army roadblock at the tunnels near Beit Jala to the settlement of Shima in the southern Hebron Hills.
On Tuesday night, troops responded to reports of Palestinians hurling fire bombs on the road near Kufar el-Majar, east of Ramallah. Soldiers opened fire at the two perpetrators, but they fled to the village. There were no injuries reported.
Earlier, troops checking a man at a roadblock near Nablus found a dozen bullets on him. It turned out the man was a wanted fugitive from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and he was taken in for questioning, the army said.
Also Tuesday, gunmen who were apparently traveling in a vehicle, opened fire at an army position near Neveh Tzuf in the West Bank. Bullets hit the outpost, but there were no injuries reported.
Isolated acts of violence were recorded during Succot, including a homemade bomb exploding on a Border Police patrol near the al-Aeda refugee camp by Bethlehem. There were no injuries, the army said.
During the past two days, security forces rounded up at least 18 suspected fugitives as part of the intensified crackdown on terrorism in the West Bank. These included six in the Samarian village of Yabad, including a member of the Islamic Jihad.
IDF forces arrested three more suspected Islamic Jihad activists in Atil near Jenin, another in Tubas and another in the village of Kafin, the army said. In Beitunya near Ramallah, forces arrested three suspected Hamas terrorists and two from Islamic Jihad.
In Judea, IDF troops detained one Hamas fugitive in Hebron and another in Idna.
|More about:||Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Halamish, Bethlehem|