TEL AVIV - An IDF soldier was killed and another sustained light injuries after forces searching for wanted terror suspects came under fire in the West Bank village of Saida, near Tul Karm, early Monday.
The soldiers fired back and were able to kill one of the Palestinian assailants. A curfew was later imposed as IDF soldiers scoured the area in search of another shooter.
The killed soldier is Staff Sergeant Dan Talasnikov, 21, from Nir Galim. His family has been informed of his death. Talasnikov will be laid to rest at 6 p.m. Monday
The killed Palestinian was identified as Islamic Jihad terrorist Shafik Abdul Ghani.
According to Palestinian sources, Ghani, who had escaped from a Palestinian prison last week, belonged to the terror cell that had carried out the attack at the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv and planned to carry out another attack in the upcoming days.
IDF paratroopers arrived at Ghani's home around 2 a.m. in order to arrest him, but during the operation the wanted terrorist left his house and headed in the direction of a nearby grove, subsequently opening fire at the forces.
Security control transferred to PA
Security control over the West Bank town of Tul Karm and eight nearby villages was transferred to the Palestinian Authority about a month ago. The handover was initially delayed after the two sides could not agree on the transfer of control over the villages.
Security officials estimate that the village of Saida and a nearby village are home to the Islamic Jihad infrastructure responsible for carrying out the suicide bombing in the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv.
Following that attack, the bombing's mastermind was killed and other Islamic Jihad terrorists were detained.
On Sunday, IDF forces detained a 19-year-old Palestinian who was planning to stage a suicide attack in Israel. The youngster was apprehended after filming a videotape where he declared his intention to carry out the attack.