Counter-terror effort paying off: IDF paratroopers uncovered a Qassam rocket in a raid on a large explosives lab in the West Bank town of Nablus on Wednesday.
Palestinian terrorists have launched hundreds of Qassams at Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip, but security officials have warned terror groups will attempt to transfer the rocket know-how to the West Bank as well.
Paratroopers who took part in Wednesday’s raid also found about 60 kilograms (approximately 130 pounds) of explosive materials, as well as an electronic ignition system for explosives, an explosive device, and a large quantity of bomb-making materials.
The explosives were neutralized in a controlled detonation.
The operation to uncover the explosives lab followed the arrest of Iyad Samah, an aide to Amjad Hinawi, a Hamas member killed in an earlier IDF operation.
Samah, a Nablus resident, was arrested on November 15. He was interrogated by the Shin Bet and the investigation then led the paratroopers to the explosives lab. The IDF said the lab belonged to Hamas and was hidden in a residential home.
‘Activity in Nablus paying off’
Following the discovery, an IDF source said: "Our activity in Nablus and northern Samaria is beginning to pay off, both against terror infrastructures and against weapons smuggling."
IDF forces have been operating in Nablus for a number of days in light of the many warnings regarding plans by terrorist organizations to use the city as a launching pad for attacks in Israel.
The army killed one Palestinian and seriously wounded another on Tuesday, after clashes broke out in Nablus during arrests of wanted suspects. Two soldiers were lightly injured in the incident. They received medical aid at the scene and were then taken to hospital for further treatment.
Palestinian sources said about 40 armored IDF vehicles entered the city on Tuesday, before exchanges of fire broke out between Palestinian gunmen and soldiers.
Husam Sakar, a 22 year-old Palestinian, was killed by shots.
Palestinians also claimed troops ran over a Palestinian at a gas station in the city, but the army has not confirmed the report. Youths threw stones at army forces operating in the city, and soldiers responded by dispersing the rioters.