Israeli Security sources reported that the Palestinian Authority fears large scale Israeli Army retaliation in Tulkarem following Thursday’s suicide bombing in which an Israeli soldier and three Palestinians were killed.
The sources said the PA and its Fateh party closed their offices in Tulkarem ahead of a possible Israeli response. Palestinian police men who were uniformed before the attack reportedly changed to civilian clothes and were advised not to carry their weapons.
Meanwhile Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility Friday for Thursday’s suicide bombing in the West Bank that killed one soldier and three Palestinians. Islamic Jihad activists in the West Bank village of Atteel, near Tulkarem, announced on loudspeakers that, one of its members identified as Sohieb Ibrahim Yassin Al-Aajami, 19, carried out Thursday’s attack.
On Thursday at night, Israeli soldiers arrested ten Islamic Jihad activists in Tulkarem; nine were arrested in Atteel, while the tenth resident was arrested in Allar.
In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers detonated an explosive device, in a controlled explosion, south of the West Bank city of Hebron. Thursday’s suicide bombing was the fifth this year carried out by the Islamic Jihad group this year; two bombings in Netanya’s Sharon Mall, one in an open market in Hadera, and one at a Tel Aviv nightclub.
These attacks were followed by offensive Israeli military operations against the Islamic Jihad operatives in the West Bank for the last several months; several members of the Jihad were assassinated, and dozens were arrested.