IDF thwarts suicide attack in Petah Tikva

Kills Islamic Jihad chief in Nablus area

The Israel Police's counter-terror Yamam squad swept into the el-Ayin refugee camp near Nablus Thursday afternoon and thwarted a suicide attack in Petah Tikva after killing a local leader of the Islamic Jihad. Security officials said that Muhammad Ramaha, the target of the raid, was in the past a member of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades but recently became head of the Nablus-based Islamic Jihad Jerusalem Brigades. Ramaha was involved in a series of terror attacks in the Nablus area and in recent weeks - since the cease-fire went into effect in the Gaza Strip - was busy planning a suicide attack inside Israel. IDF sources said the target was Petah Tikva. Late Wednesday night, IDF troops discovered an eight-kilogram bomb in a car they were inspecting at a checkpoint east of Nablus. Four men were detained and security sources said that Ramaha was behind the planning of the thwarted car-bomb attack. "Nablus is the Palestinian national terror capital," said Col. Amir Baram, head of the Samaria Brigade. "Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, in Nablus the terror groups are very active in planning terror attacks." Earlier in the day, IDF troops shot and killed a Palestinian man in the village of Kufr al-Dik, also near Nablus. The IDF said soldiers in the village encountered a riot, with residents throwing stones and cinder blocks. Palestinians said the man was throwing stones at two army jeeps that entered the village of Kufr al-Dik around noon Thursday when he was shot by troops. He was wounded in the chest and died on the way to the hospital, they said. Security officials said there were presently eight concrete terror warnings, mostly from the northern West Bank, concerning suicide attacks inside Israel, shooting attacks and kidnappings. Baram said that the IDF took into account the effect operations in the West Bank could have on the fragile Gaza cease-fire, but operations would continue. "We try very hard not to make mistakes and hurt innocent people. since this can give excuses to those in the Gaza Strip to breach the cease-fire," he said. Two rockets landed in Sderot last night. One person suffered from shock.