(JNS) Israel Defense Forces tanks struck a Hamas post in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, March 8, after terrorists detonated an explosive device close to troops operating along the border. The IDF said that no soldiers were injured in the blast, and that an investigation into the incident had been launched.
Overnight Tuesday, Palestinian terrorists had fired a rocket from Gaza towards Israel, which triggered sirens in the southern Israeli community of Nir Am.
The rocket misfired and landed inside the Palestinian enclave, according to the military.
The launch came hours after a daytime raid during which Israeli forces eliminated the Palestinian terrorist who shot dead at point blank range brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv near the Arab village of Huwara on Feb. 26.
The military reported that soldiers had conducted a counter-terrorism operation in Jenin—a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism in the northern Shomron—when gunmen opened fire on them from a house they had surrounded.
Palestinian officials said Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, was killed in the exchange. He is suspected of gunning down the Yanivs while they were stuck in a traffic jam near Huwara.
The IDF said that in concurrent operations in Nablus troops arrested two of Kharousha’s sons, who are suspected of involvement in the Huwara attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the soldiers who “eliminated the abhorrent terrorist who murdered the two wonderful brothers, Hallel and Yigal Yaniv, in cold blood.”
He continued, saying that “our brave soldiers acted with surgical precision in the heart of the murderers’ lair. I commend them and send my best wishes for a swift recovery to our wounded. As I have said repeatedly: Whoever harms us will pay the price.
“This was an exceptional intelligence and operational achievement. These operations are of immense value. By your actions, you are sending a clear and sharp message to all who are thinking about murdering an Israeli citizen: We will settle accounts with you. [I] convey my deepest appreciation—and that of the entire people of Israel—to the soldiers, to the men and women of the security establishment.”
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price similarly backed the IDF operation, saying that Israel “has the legitimate right to defend its people and its territory against all forms of aggression, including, of course, those from terrorist groups. … [We] have seen far too many vivid illustrations of the terrorist threat that Israel faces, including in recent days. We remain deeply concerned by the sharp rise in violence in [the Shomron], and we continue to urge the parties to take immediate steps to prevent the further loss of life.”