update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

IDF kills Islamic Jihad commander in Judea and Samaria

Two other terrorists were killed in armed clashes that broke out in Tubas and al-Fari'ah camp early Tuesday, according to Palestinian media reports.

Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers near the town of Tubas in Judea and Samaria, during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump's peace proposal on on Jan. 29, 2020. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers near the town of Tubas in Judea and Samaria, during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump's peace proposal on on Jan. 29, 2020. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Israeli security forces killed three Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, including a commander, during overnight operations in Judea and Samaria early Tuesday, according to Israeli media reports.

The three terrorists were eliminated in Tubas in northern Samaria and the nearby al-Fari’ah camp, located east of Nablus (Shechem), according to the reports, which cited the P.A.’s official Wafa news agency.

One of the terrorists, Ahmed Daraghmeh, 26, was reportedly a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad-affiliated Tubas Battalion terrorist group.

The two others killed were identified as Osama Jabr Al-Zalt, 26, and Muhammad Samih Bayadsa, 32. Three others were wounded in the armed clashes.

Later on Tuesday, Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian attempting to illegally cross from Judea into Israel. Officers patrolling the security fence near Bethlehem opened fire after the suspect failed to identify himself, according to a police statement.

During the night, the IDF also operated in Nablus and Ramallah, as well as the towns of Illar and Jaba’, where, according to the Hebrew-language Hidabrut news site, soldiers arrested 20 wanted suspects, including senior terrorists.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, Israel Defense Forces data shows.

Over the year, there were 608 attacks versus 170 in 2022, representing a 350% increase.

The 300 shooting attacks are the most since the bloody Palestinian terror wave of the early 2000s.

More than 50 of the 2023 shooting attacks emanated from the terrorist hotspot of Jenin in northern Samaria. The IDF undertook a major operation to root out terrorists and terror infrastructure there over the summer. The July 3-5 incursion was dubbed “Operation Home and Garden.” It was preceded the month before by the first Israeli drone strike in Judea and Samaria since 2006, which killed a three-man terror cell.

The violence has continued to escalate in the months since Hamas started a war with its murderous rampage across the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7. A total of 41 Israeli airstrikes have been carried out in Judea and Samaria since the start of the war, as well as more than 200 counterterror operations in Palestinian camps. Over 3,150 wanted suspects in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley have been arrested, of whom more than 1,350 are Hamas operatives.

Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, Rescuers Without Borders first responders recorded more than 2,600 attacks targeting Israeli civilians and soldiers, including 760 cases of rock-throwing, 551 fire bombings, 12 attempted or successful stabbings and nine vehicular assaults.

Among the report’s findings was a sharp increase in the number of shootings, with 127 instances of gunfire reported over the past three months. By comparison, in all of 2022, Hatzalah recorded just under 100 shooting attacks.

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