update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Tulkarem resident confesses to attacks on towns in central Israel

Amar Nasser Allah told interrogators following his June 5 arrest that he belonged to a terrorist cell responsible for a series of shooting attacks on Bat Hefer, east of Netanya.

The Israeli town of Bat Hefer backdropped by the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, situated on the western edge of northern Samaria, May 29, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
The Israeli town of Bat Hefer backdropped by the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, situated on the western edge of northern Samaria, May 29, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

A Palestinian arrested in the Samaria city of Tulkarem earlier this month has confessed to being part of a terrorist cell that carried out shooting attacks targeting Bat Hefer, a Jewish town east of Netanya, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday.

During interrogation by the Israel Security Agency following his arrest on June 5, Amar Nasser Allah named several other members of the cell, according to the IDF.

Last month, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich demanded military action after Palestinian terrorists opened fire on central Israeli towns from the area twice in one week. “Terrorism must be eradicated everywhere, even if it means Tulkarem will look like Gaza looks today,” said Smotrich, who also oversees civilian issues in Judea and Samaria.

Tulkarem, a city that borders the Samaria security barrier, is located only eight miles from the Jewish state’s densely populated coastal plain.

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

Since the beginning of the war with Hamas on Oct. 7, the Israel Defense Forces has carried out intensive ground operations in Tulkarem, arresting hundreds of suspects and dismantling terrorist infrastructure, including explosives buried under roads, intended to kill IDF soldiers.

On Sunday evening, Palestinian terrorists remotely detonated powerful explosive devices in Shuweika, a satellite village of Tulkarem, near the fence bordering the Israeli town of Bat Hefer. The blast took place only 60 meters (197 feet) from the fence and was preceded by rifle fire towards central Israel, according to the Kan News broadcaster.

The charges were “placed and activated remotely by terrorists hundreds of meters from the wall,” the IDF claimed, adding that the blasts were staged “to attract forces to the area” and attack them upon arrival.

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