2 Islamic Jihad men killed in Nablus, truce at risk
Joint IDF, Shin Bet operation to arrest senior commander from Jenin ends with his death. Army says imminent terror attack thwarted. Though ceasefire limited to Gaza, Islamic Jihad has warned attacks on its people in West Bank would bring Qassam reprisals
A senior commander of the Islamic Jihad and an additional gunman belonging to the group were killed in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The two were killed in an exchange of fire with IDF and Shin Bet forces who had entered the city to arrest several wanted Palestinians.
Troops belonging to the elite Duvdevan unit were operating in the city's Rafidiyah neighborhood, in pursuit of 25-year-old Tariq Abu Ra'ali from Jenin.
The IDF said Abu Ra'ali, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad in Hebron, has been wanted for a long period of time. He recently fled Jenin to Nablus, where he was spotted.
During the operation Abu Ra'ali barricaded himself in an apartment with another gunman and the two opened fire on the Israeli troops after refusing to turn themselves in.
The two were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire. A sweep of the apartment after the operation revealed several explosives devices, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and other paramilitary equipment.
No casualties were reported amongst the Israeli forces.
Palestinian sources said the two men killed were university students and reported several people were arrested by the IDF during the operation.
On the eve of the ceasefire in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad announced that any operation against its ranks in the West Bank would result in a decisive response from the Strip.
The organization confirmed that Abu Ra'ali was a senior commander in the West Bank and said he had previously escaped five other attempts on his life.