Israel's targeted killing in West Bank, intended to send a message

Security expert says the aerial strike is the right operational move which increases deterrence but would not expand beyond Jenin and Nablus, while raids of Palestinian areas to arrest terror suspects would continue

Elisha Ben Kimon|

IDF targeted killing from the air in the West Bank

IDF's decision to launch a targeted aerial strike against terrorists is not expected to be repeated in other parts of the West Bank, but rather to focus at this stage, on Nablus and Jenin. The military move came after increasing terror attacks in the northern part of the region and was hailed by a security expert.
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זירת החיסול
זירת החיסול
The scene of the targeted West Bank aerial killing
Tamir Hayman, a retired general and the director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), told Ynet that the military was right to take such action. "The freedom of troops to operate on the ground is unchanged and there is a variety of methods at the IDF's disposal," he said. "The military had carried out intensive operations over the past year and the presence of troops on the ground grants Israel relative benefits. It instills fear in our enemies and is proof of Israel's control," he said.
Unlike similar operations conducted in Gaza, Wednesday's strike was not the result of extensive preparation and intelligence gathering on a potential target, according to foreign media reports, but rather a quick response to an immediate and tangible threat. When the IDF and Shin Bet dealt with the Lion's Den in Nablus, for example, a terrorist was targeted using an explosive device hidden on a motorcycle.
In practice, despite the military's use of more aggressive means, aimed at creating deterrence, there is no change in policies and no immediate plan to resume targeted assassinations in the West Bank. Raids to arrest terror suspects in Nablus and Jenin, are expected to continue. On such occasions, the troops encounter militant fire, and explosive devices hurled at them, to name but a few of the challenges they face.
Still, drones are a highly aggressive means that has been added to Israel's arsenal in the fight against the terrorists who carry out shooting attacks on settlers and military vehicles on the roads, IDF positions, and checkpoints.
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תמונות הנשקים ששימשו את המחבלים שסוכלו לאחר שירו סמוך לג'למה
תמונות הנשקים ששימשו את המחבלים שסוכלו לאחר שירו סמוך לג'למה
Weapons found in the terrorist's vehicle
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The terrorists were killed on Wednesday using an Elbit Hermes 450 UAV after they left Jenin. They opened fire on the Jalameh Crossing and were en route to carry out another attack. Three weapons were found in their car, and their bodies were taken by the military.
In a joint statement, the IDF and Shin Bet said the squad had launched numerous shooting attacks on settlements in the area. "IDF forces, with the exact intelligence provided by the Shin Bet, identified a suspicious car with a three-man terror squad that had carried out a shooting attack near Jalame. After identifying the squad, an IDF manned aircraft opened fire and eliminated the squad," the statement said.
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