Special forces arrived at the Palestinian village of Naima, located near Bilin in the West Bank, in order to arrest wanted Palestinians in the early hours of Tuesday morning. One of the terrorists tried to flee and was apprehended following a short chase.
Meanwhile, another wanted terrorist barricaded himself inside a cave near the village and exchanged fire with IDF soldiers who encircled him for hours. The terrorist was eventually killed when the IDF force fired two anti-tank missiles into the cave. There were no reports of injuries among the Israeli force.
The Shin Bet internal security service said that that the Palestinian who was killed is apparently Mohammed Assi, one of the terrorists who planned the bombing attack on a Tel Aviv bus in November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense.
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Assi, 28, from Beit Liqya, was imprisoned a number of times for his activity as an Islamic Jihad operative and had been on the run since the attack on the bus, which injured 29 people.
According to the security establishment, Assi was planning another attack against Israeli civilians or IDF forces and refused to surrender to the forces surrounding the cave.
The Shin Bet added that two of Assi's aides were detained in Tuesday's raid: Muhammad Ibrahim Sais, 30, who was jailed by Israel for his activity in Islamic Jihad; and Abdullah Abu Assi, 22, from Beit Naima, who was also held by Israel in the past.
Similar operation conducted in recent months led to fierce clashes between IDF soldiers and Palestinians. Some two months ago three Palestinians were killed in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem during exchanges of fire that erupted when Israeli troops raided the camp to detain a terror suspect.
A few days prior to that incident, a Palestinian was killed during an IDF raid in Jenin.
Itamar Fleishman, Yoav Zitun contributed to the report
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