Jihad commander nabbed in West Bank

Helped organize Stage nightclub attack and other bombings which killed 21 Israelis

Security forces operating northwest of Jenin on Sunday, arrested an Islamic Jihad commander responsible for the deaths of scores of Israelis and the wounding of hundreds. Hussein Jeredat, 33, considered to be one of the most senior commanders in northern Samaria, was arrested in an operation conducted by the IDF, Border Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in the village of in Silat A-Daher. According to the army, Jeredat was arrested in the 1990s for terror activities. After his release in 1996 he returned to organizing further terror attacks. The terror infrastructure which was under Jeredat's command is considered to be one of the most deadly in northern Samaria, officials said. Attacks carried out by Jeredat's cells include: the Stage nightclub bombing in Tel Aviv in February last year in which five Israelis were killed; the murdering of five Israelis in a suicide bomb attack at the Netanya mall in July last year; the Hadera bombing last October in which six Israelis were killed; and the December suicide bomb attack in Netanya which killed five Israelis. Jeredat's cells also dispatched the suicide bombers who were en route to attacks in Israel last month when they were intercepted by Lt. Uri Binamo at a checkpoint in Tulkarm. The two detonated their bombs killing Binamo. Elsewhere, the IDF denied any involvement in the death of a member of the Popular Resistance Committee, and the wounding of six, when a car exploded in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. The dead man was identified as Muhammad Abu Ali. Palestinian media reports immediately blamed Israel, accusing it of having launched a targeted killing. The army did not, however, rule out that the blast was a "work accident," the result of a bomb exploding prematurely while being transported. Shortly after the blast, an air force helicopter fired missiles at three Palestinian gunmen spotted approaching the north Gaza security fence south of the Karni goods crossing. According to the army, the gunmen ignored warning shots fired near them and proceeded toward the fence. The army confirmed one gunman was wounded but stressed that there was no connection between this incident and the car explosion. The Karni goods crossing was shut down over a week ago due to terror warnings and the belief that a tunnel had been dug in the area by terrorists to be used to launch an attack inside Israel. IDF bulldozers have been used in an attempt to find the tunnel, but to no avail. In central Gaza, at about the same time as the car explosion, soldiers opened fire at another group of three Palestinians who were crawling towards the security fence. One of the Palestinians was wounded, and the other two were arrested by troops.