(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
The Israel Defense Forces are continuing in their efforts to foil the terrorist infrastructure which has beinfited from renewed momentum in Nablus. The operation, codenamed "Warm Winter," yielded the discovery of a warehouse used to manufacture explosive devices. IDF soldiers found gas tanks as well as significant quantities of spray chemicals inside the warehouse on Saturday morning. The next evening, two additional weapons laboratories were found. During the operation, Palestinian assailants hurled Molotov cocktails at the soldiers near the scene of the two laboratories.
"In recent weeks, we received information about extensive terrorist activity in the city of Nablus," said the commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria Division, Brigadier-General Yaron Golan. "In just the last six months, nine explosive devices which were manufactured in this city were aimed at Israeli citizens. In 2006, 117 Palestinian youths were arrested after we had received information stating that they had intended to infiltrate Israeli territory and blow themselves up in our cities. This is a huge number, and it represents a majority of the 190 total detainees that were captured by the IDF over the course of last year."
The youths who were apprehended in Nablus belong to various terrorist organizations, among them the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Tanzim, and the "Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestinian."
"There is no doubt that as long as the operation continues, we will expose more weapons, bomb labs, and various parts of the terrorist infrastructure of the terrorist groups in the city, which will undoubtedly harm the terrorists' capability to execute attacks," Brigadier-General Golan said.
The data which Brigadier-General Golan submitted along with intelligence that has been received recently compelled the authorities to initiate what is described as "a concentrated effort in the thwarting of the widespread terrorist infrastructure in the city." Brigadier-General Golan estimates the duration of the operation will be determined by periodic assessments of the situation, although it is anticipated to last a number of days. The IDF has imposed a curfew in the Kasbah area, near Nablus' Old City. The curfew, whose purpose is to prevent harming residents who live nearby, will remain in effect as long as IDF troops are operating in the area.