update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Israeli police officer wounded in Samaria raid on Hamas cell

The four terrorists killed in the operation were responsible for the murder of off-duty IDF reservist Elhanan Ariel Klein in November.

Israeli security forces seen during a raid in in the town of Deir Al-Ghusun, near the city of Tulkarm in the Samaria, May 4, 2024. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Israeli security forces seen during a raid in in the town of Deir Al-Ghusun, near the city of Tulkarm in the Samaria, May 4, 2024. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

An officer from the Israel Police’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit was seriously wounded on Saturday night during a raid on a Hamas cell near Tulkarem in Samaria.

The officer was evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, which described his condition as “very serious,” according to Hebrew media reports. Channel 13 reported that the wounded officer is the son of former Israel Police chief Yoram Halevy, who has served as commander of the Yamam, Southern District commander and Jerusalem District commander.

During the Saturday night operation, involving the police, Israel Security Agency and Israel Defense Forces, four terrorists were killed and another was apprehended and transferred to the ISA for questioning, according to a joint IDF and ISA statement.

The Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency said that a fifth, unidentified man, was found dead following the raid.

The cell was responsible for the murder of off-duty IDF reservist Elhanan Ariel Klein, 29, a father of three from Einav, on Nov. 2, 2023, in the area of the Beit Lid Junction. An additional officer was wounded in that attack. The squad also carried out a car bombing on April 7, 2024, on Route 55, adjacent to the Nabi Ilyas Junction, that wounded two Israelis, including an IDF soldier.

According to the IDF/ISA statement, the cell was involved in “the planning of imminent and additional terror attacks against Israeli communities.”

The four terrorists were killed during a gunfight in the town of Deir al-Ghusun that lasted some 12 hours. They were holed up in a building, with troops using a “pressure cooker” tactic involving increased firepower at the building to force the terrorists out. Armored bulldozers demolished part of the building, soldiers fired several shoulder-launched missiles at the structure and a Hermes 450 drone carried out two airstrikes, the IDF said.

The casualties were identified as Hamas operatives Adnan Taisir Kamal Samara, 40, Alaa Adib Abed Aljaber Sharitakh, 45, and Tamer Abed Allatif Rajeh Rajeh, 32; and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Asal Taufik Badran, 42.

Israeli forces confiscated several weapons during the raid.

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