Although Palestinians claim the operations carried out by the IDF on Sunday in the West Bank city of Nablus and off the coast of Gaza failed to achieve their objectives, the military believes the case to be the exact opposite.
The IDF says the objective of these operations was to make clear that Israel has its foot on the gas when it comes to thwarting terror activity, having slowed down during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit two weeks ago.
In Nablus, the operation was complex and dangerous, but necessary. “To prevent terror attacks in Tel Aviv, we must act deep within the hornet's nest in the West Bank.”
The IDF believes Nablus, similar to Jenin, has become a hotbed of terror, with the two Palestinian cities accounting for 75% of terror shootings carried out in the Israeli territory. The Shin Bet and IDF's Intelligence Corps Unit 8200 collected information on the terrorist cells in Nablus, which was then used by the troops from the Givati Brigade and Israel's national counter-terrorism unit, Yamam, to carry out the nighttime raid.
The IDF engaged the militants in Nablus between 1:20 and 5:00am, resulting in the death of two terrorists. Palestinian health officials said 16 others were wounded, and one of them severely.
The operation’s overt objective was to seize weapons and arrest terror suspects, but its covert one was to make terrorists feel unsafe even in their safe space.
The Israeli forces forces surrounded and fired rockets at three buildings where the terrorists were barricading themselves. The terrorists began firing at the forces from the buildings' rooftops in response, prompting a further retaliation from the Israeli forces.
The forces entered the buildings following the gunfight and seized a large number of weapons and explosives. The Palestinians tried to claim the operation was a failure due to the successful escape of one of the wanted terror suspects, but the IDF says the main focus was deterrence.
The IDF also operated in the town of Qabatiya, where special forces arrested a number of suspects, and which has started to become a overtaken by terror activity. “We can’t stop terror attacks only by closing the [Israel's West Bank] Separation Barrier,” an IDF officer said, adding, “These operations are dangerous, but they’re the IDF’s mission.”
In Gaza, the Israeli naval forces foiled a maritime weapons smuggling attempt from Egypt. The forces sunk a Palestinian boat, which was estimated to have been carrying ammunition and anti-tank missiles.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the equipment was meant for Hamas.