In a rare daytime raid in the West Bank town of Jenin, Israeli soldiers eliminated two senior terrorists of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group, the IDF stated on Wednesday afternoon.
The terrorists were identified as Muhammad Zubeidi, the commander of the PIJ’s Jenin Battalion, and Hussam Hanoun.
Zubeidi, the effective leader of the Jenin refugee camp was involved in extensive terrorist activity.H was involved in the shooting attack at Hermesh Junction on May 30 in which the late Meir Tamari was murdered, and in another shooting attack in the same area on May 13 in which a civilian and four IDF soldiers were injured.
Zubeidi was also involved in supplying vehicles for terror attacks and sending terrorists on their missions.
When Israel’s domestic intelligence service, Shin Bet, received indications of Zubeidi’s whereabouts on Wednesday, a large group of Israeli forces carried out a raid in Jenin, surrounding the house where Zubeidi and Hanoun were holed up.
Israeli forces carried out the “pressure cooker” method, escalating measures until the suspects surrender or are eliminated. The two terrorists were later found dead in the building, along with three M-16 rifles and ammunition.
The military operation was carried out by forces of the Shin Bet, Border Police commandos, IDF commandos, and combat engineering units.
An additional 17 wanted persons were arrested and seven weapons, several IEDs, ammunition, and other military equipment were confiscated.
Zubeidi was a relative of arch-terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi, one of the Palestinian heroes of the Second Intifada and a former senior Fatah terrorist who broke out of an Israeli prison two years ago. He was recaptured after a two-week manhunt.
Zubeidi’s PIJ group has received financial support, technical expertise, and training from Iran, the group’s leader, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, recently acknowledged.
The PIJ established “combat battalions in all Palestinian cities in the West Bank,” with Iran’s assistance, al-Nakhalah said, according to the Foundation for Freedom of Democracies (FDD).
“Over the last two years, the West Bank has emerged as an important player in Iran’s plan to bring terrorism to Israel’s borders. Moreover, this is a deliberate Iranian strategy to exert its influence in the region and exploit the Palestinian Authority’s weak governance in the West Bank,” said Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the FDD.
Since the beginning of Operation Iron Swords, more than 2,000 wanted persons have now been arrested throughout Judea and Samaria, with about 1,100 of them known to be associates of the terrorist organization Hamas.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.