Last update - 15:53 20/12/2006
Israeli forces kill 2 Jihad men near Jenin; 3 rockets hit Negev
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and AP
Two wanted Islamic Jihad activists were killed Wednesday morning by special police forces near the West Bank city of Jenin, sparking a volley of Qassam fire on southern Israel.
Three Qassam rockets were fired at the western Negev early Wednesday afternoon, and in Gaza, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was the avenging the deaths of its members.
One of the rockets landed at a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council, another landed next to a cemetery, and a third slammed into the entrance of a western Negev community. There were no injuries or damages reported in any of the incidents.
The two wanted men, named as Salah Suwafta and Hussam Ayissa, were shot dead as they tried to flee a building surrounded by the Israeli forces in the village of Silat al-Hartiya, west of Jenin.
The two had killed two police dogs accompanying the Israeli forces. Palestinian security officials said the force entered Sila and surrounded a house, waging a gunbattle with the militants barricaded inside.
The army said the two militants were involved in attempts to carry out bomb attacks in Israel, and that troops had killed them during an attempted arrest operation.
"The two were involved in attempts to carry out a number of suicide attacks inside Israel," an IDF spokesman said.
Islamic Jihad announced over mosque loudspeakers around the northern West Bank that the two men were members of the group.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.