IDF kills senior Tanzim operative near Bethlehem

An IDF force from the elite Duvdevan Battalion killed senior Fatah Tanzim fugitive Jabar Akhras during an arrest operation east of Bethlehem on Sunday evening. Armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, Akhras rushed the soldiers who came to arrest him and was shot. According to security establishment sources, Akhras was responsible for the murder of two Nahal Brigade soldiers, Shlomo Bilski and Shaul Lahav, at the roadblock on the tunnel road between Gush Etzion and Jerusalem in November 2003. He was also involved in planning other attacks, and worked with five members of a Popular Resistance Committees cell on attempts to build Kassam rockets in the West Bank. The PRC members were arrested by the IDF in February.