IDF, Shin Bet say West Bank operation targeted cell planning ‘imminent’ terror attacks

Palestinians inspect the damage after an overnight Israeli strike on the refugee camp of Balata, east of Nablus in the West Bank on November 18, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
Palestinians inspect the damage after an overnight Israeli strike on the refugee camp of Balata, east of Nablus in the West Bank on November 18, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security service say in a joint statement that a number of terrorists killed in an overnight West Bank operation were planning “imminent” attacks on Israeli civilians and troops.

The statement says forces and aircraft struck a hideout in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus.

Those killed included Muhammad Zahad, described in the statement as a “senior terrorist” in Nablus who was involved in a number of shooting attacks, including an April Jerusalem attack in which two Israelis were injured.

The statement says Zahad formed and armed a terror cell of youths, which he deployed to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The statement says forces also uncovered an explosives laboratory, and that devices had been planted along and under the streets of Balata to target Israeli troops.

During the operation, gunmen opened fire toward Israeli troops, the statement says.

There were no Israeli casualties.

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