IDF confirms bomb planner's death

Jihad Awidat, killed by the IDF, was responsible for Hadera suicide bombing.

abu zeid 298.88 (photo credit: )
abu zeid 298.88
(photo credit: )
A Kassam rocket fired at Sderot on Monday night triggered the town's Red Dawn early warning system, but exploded in an open area, causing no damage or casualties. It is the third rocket fired from northern Gaza at the town since Sunday night. In all incidents the rockets fell in open areas. Meanwhile, details of Sunday night's IDF operation in Kabatiya south of Jenin emerged Monday, with confirmation that one of the three Islamic Jihad fugitives killed in gun battles with IDF forces was Jihad Awidat, who planned the Hadera suicide bomb attack in which five Israelis were killed and recruited the bomber. In retaliation, the Islamic Jihad vowed to deal Israel a painful blow. Acting on intelligence information, soldiers of the Nahal Brigade and the elite Duvdevan unit surrounded a house late Sunday afternoon where the fugitives were believed to have been hiding. Heavy and prolonged gun battles erupted between security forces and fugitives inside the house, including Awidat and his deputy Arshad Kamil. The troops deployed a bulldozer that began tearing down the walls in order to coax inhabitants to leave after they ignored soldiers' calls to surrender. Shortly afterward, a woman, several children and four men left the house. The men were handed over to Israel Security Agency for questioning. The gun battles continued, and at one point troops spotted two armed gunmen fleeing. They opened fire, killing Awidat and wounding Kamil, who fled back inside the building, where he later died. Late that night, only after it became apparent that there were no other gunmen inside the building, troops entered and found Kamil's body next to Kalashnikov rifles. Meanwhile, in another section of the town, soldiers spotted three Palestinians attempting to place bombs to detonate near troops. One of the three opened fire at the soldiers, who returned fire, killing one. The two others fled the site. Thousands attended Monday's funerals in Kabatiya of the three killed in the incidents. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF clampdown on terrorists continues. In Tulkarm, security forces arrested Hamas fugitive Munir Kassam, 27, who was involved in shooting and bomb attacks against IDF forces and settlers in the area and intended together with the Islamic Jihad to launch a car bomb attack against security forces. According to the army, Kassam, considered a key Hamas commander in the Tulkarm area, was also active in the ranks of the Islamic Jihad, and was intensively involved in planning attacks despite the so-called truce. Four Islamic Jihad fugitives arrested in Jenin were identified as Mohand Sa'adi, Ashrad Jeridat, Mohammed Azek and Mahmoud Jeridat. During the raid to arrest the four, shots were fired and a bomb detonated near troops. In Kalandiya south of Ramallah, two fugitives were arrested, and two others were arrested in Azun east of Kalkilya. Near the Machpela Cave in Hebron, soldiers arrested a Palestinian found carrying a 15-cm.-long jack knife.