JERUSALEM Ñ Israel has captured a leading commander of the
Iranian-based Islamic Jihad.
Israeli undercover agents captured Abu Ali Casey in the West Bank city
of Jenin on Monday. Casey was identified as head of Islamic Jihad in the
city, regarded as the largest stronghold of the insurgency group.
Officers from the Israeli Border Police undercover unit captured Casey
after a shootout in which a Palestinian insurgent was killed. The officers
found firearms, bulletproof vests and helmets in Casey's house and car, Middle East Newsline reported.
Israeli military sources said Casey was planning a series of attacks on
Israeli forces in and around Jenin. They were said to have included suicide
bombings, abduction of soldiers and ambushes.
On Tuesday, Israeli officials reported that special operations forces
killed commanders within Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Fatah commander,
identified as Mahmoud Salah, was killed in an attack in Bethlehem, where he
headed forces loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed Nidal Salameh in the central
region. Salameh headed the PLFP in the Gaza Strip and was said to have
planned a series of attacks.
Israeli authorities have also been on alert for the entry of Palestinian
suicide bombers. They said five Palestinian insurgency cells were captured
and charged with killing nine Israelis. Three of the cells comprised members
of the Fatah movement.
In the Golan Heights, Israeli security agents arrested a cell of Druse
residents linked to the Iranian-backed Hizbullah. An Israeli government
statement said the group was working with a Hamas cell in the Gaza Strip to
abduct Israeli soldiers and transfer them to Hizbullah.