Senior terrorist killed by army: IDF troops operating in the Bethlehem area Sunday afternoon killed a senior wanted terror suspect, Jaber Ahras, who among other attacks was responsible for one that left two IDF soldiers dead in 2003.
Ahras headed a terror cell planning to fire rockets at a Jerusalem neighborhood. Five cell members were detained by security authorities in February.
In the past, Ahras acted on behalf of the Fatah's military wing, but recently he was cooperating with the Popular Resistance Committees. Palestinian sources said Ahras headed the Resistance Committee's entire West Bank rocket infrastructure.
A spokesman on behalf of the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Committee's military wing, vowed to avenge Ahras' killing.
Forces belonging to the elite Duvdevan (Cherry) undercover unit encircled a building used as a hiding spot by Ahras east of Bethlehem. Troops called on the suspect to surrender, but at one point he left the building and charged at troops while firing at them.
The forces returned fire and killed Ahras. A Kalashnikov rifle was later recovered from his body.
Ahras was responsible for a shooting attack at a roadblock south of Jerusalem that killed IDF soldiers Shlomi Balski and Shaul Lahav on November 18, 2003. The killed terrorist was also involved in the planning of rocket attacks at Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood and was responsible for initiating attacks in the Bethlehem region.
Overall, the past weekend has been one of the stormiest in recent memory, with 17 Palestinians, most of them terrorists, killed in IDF operations in the Gaza Strip.