In a night raid to capture members of a Palestinian terror cell in the PA-controlled city of Tulkarem, an elite unit of the IDF surrounded a coffeehouse where the group was meeting and asked them to surrender. The terrorists threw a firebomb and other explosives at the soldiers and then opened fire. The army confirmed that all five were armed and three were Islamic Jihad operatives who received money and orders from Hezbollah for numerous terrorist attacks against Israel.
Responses to the raid by Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were nothing new. Promising “painful revenge,” a Hamas spokesman said they will “teach the enemy lesson.” PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei called the raid “a brutal crime” and accused Israel of not wanting calm. The raid targeted 30-year-old Adel el-Rawi, a senior member of Islamic Jihad, who was instrumental in numerous terrorist attacks, including the suicide bombings at the Stage club in Tel Aviv, the bombing across from the Netanya mall and another at Shavei Shomron.