The IDF early Tuesday morning raised the alert in the Gaza border area to the highest since Operation Guardian of the Walls, ordering the closure of all roads near the Gaza border due to fear of escalation following the arrest of a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group overnight Monday.
The decision was made following a situational assessment and in the wake of an increase in terror activities by the Islamic Jihad. According to the IDF, there is a real threat of the Islamic Jihad trying to retaliate against the arrest via anti-tank rockets or sniper fire.
Zikim Beach was closed as well as several sightseeing sites in the area. Train traffic was stopped between Ashkelon and Netivot and Sderot, and the Erez Crossing checkpoint between Israel and Gaza was closed.
The IDF came under live fire during an overnight operation in Jenin to arrest a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official. In the course of the ensuing gun battle, a Palestinian teenager was killed and another Palestinian was injured.
PIJ commander Bassam al-Saadi and his son-in-law Ashraf al-Jada were arrested during the operation. Saadi was lightly injured from a dog bite during his arrest. In the video below, Saadi can be seen being dragged by IDF troops and tripping on iron bars due to his resistance to his arrest.
The video below is of Jenin residents throwing rocks at IDF troops leaving the area following the operation.
Saadi, 62, was previously arrested and imprisoned by Israel seven times for terror activities and has served a total of 15 years in Israeli prisons.
According to a statement by the Shin Bet, Saadi has “been working to restore PIJ operations and was behind the establishment of a significant military force in the Shomron, and in Jenin in particular. His presence was a significant factor in the radicalization of the organization’s operatives.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)