Israeli troops foiled an imminent Palestinian attack on Sunday, killing three members of a terrorist cell near the northern Samaria city of Jenin.
Video footage shared by the Kan News public broadcaster showed IDF soldiers opening fire at a vehicle adjacent to the town of Arrabeh, southwest of Jenin.
Following the firefight, IDF soldiers found an assault rifle in the vehicle. The bodies of the three terrorists are being held by Israeli authorities.
According to authorities, the head of the cell was Naif Abu Suias, 26, a resident of Jenin’s refugee camp. Abu Suias was a “prominent military operative … who was involved in military activity against our forces and in advancing military activity directed by terror elements from the Gaza Strip,” the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that Abu Suias’s cell had planned to carry out a drive-by shooting against Israeli civilians in Samaria, similar to the one that killed Meir Tamari on May 31.
The terrorist cell had been involved in previous attacks, added Hagari.
“I commend the security forces and the IDF for thwarting a terrorist cell that was on the way to attack Israeli citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We will continue to take action against those who seek to attack us, anywhere and anytime.”
On Saturday evening, an Israeli man was killed in a Palestinian shooting in the heart of Tel Aviv.
The terrorist was identified as Kamel Abu Bakr, 22, from Rummanah near Jenin. According to the Shin Bet, Abu Bakr was a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group and had been hiding in the Jenin camp for the past six months.
The Shin Bet has arrested several of Abu Bakr’s family members in connection with the attack, it was revealed on Sunday.
Security services were investigating whether Abu Bakr had accomplices and how he had crossed the security barrier at the 1949 Armistice Line without an entry permit.