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March 23, 2014 9:48 am
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Netanyahu on Terrorist Killed in Jenin: ‘Our Policy is to Attack Those Who Attack Us and Who Are Planning to Attack Us’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Palestinian rioters in El-Arrub. Photo: Israel Defense Forces.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday commended the military forces who killed wanted Hamas terrorist Hamza Abu Alhija, as he attempted to flee arrest, wounding two soldiers with gunfire.

Speaking ahead of the start of his government’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said,  “I would like to commend the anti-terrorism unit, the IDF units involved, including the ultra-orthodox brigade, and the ISA [Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet] for carrying out a very important operation in eliminating someone who endangered Israeli citizens.”

He said, “Our policy is to attack those who attack us and who are planning to attack us. Both were applicable in this case.”

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Netanyahu said, “Over the weekend our forces struck at a terrorist who had organized attacks on Israelis and was also planning attacks on innocent civilians.  At the same time, we also discovered a tunnel, a Hamas attack tunnel.”

“These items underscore the importance of strict security procedures in any future settlement,” the Israeli prime minister said.

On Saturday, the IDF and ISA carried out an overnight operation in Jenin to arrest the armed Hamas operative. Abu Alhija was wanted for involvement in shooting and bombing attacks, as well as planning future terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, the IDF said in a statement.

“During the mission, Abu Alhija barricaded himself with other operatives in his house. Security forces operated in order to bring the suspect to surrender himself, Abu Alhija opened fire at the forces, wounding two security personnel and then attempted to escape while continuing to shoot.”

The security personnel responded with fire, killing the terrorist, the IDF said. Meanwhile, an extremely violent riot developed at the scene, with rocks, improvised explosive devices and firebombs hurled at the Israeli forces, who responded with accurate fire, killing several more terrorists.

The Hamas tunnel was discovered on Friday and surprised IDF engineers because of its depth, length and complexity, indicating that Hamas may have had foreign help, possibly from Iran, in building this latest tunnel network that allowed Hamas free access from Gaza to Israel.

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