Security sources tell us that in an Israeli arrest operation today in Silat A Hartiya, northwest of Jenin, two wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists, Salah Hafed Mahmud Suafta and Husam Mahmud Ibrahim Isah, were killed. During the attempt to arrest them, the two opened fire at security forces, sparking heavy exchanges of fire in which they were killed. Two rifles, protective vests and large amounts of ammunition were found by their bodies. The two were receiving instructions and funds from the Islamic Jihad Command in Syria in order to carry out a suicide bombing.
Last month, a suicide bombing spearheaded by the two was prevented thanks to the arrest of Sahmer Suafta, Salah's brother. By this time, Salah Suafta had already recruited a bomber, filmed his statement and instructed him on the use of the explosive belt. Sahmer was due to lead the suicide bomber to Israel, and following his arrest he supplied security forces with the location of the bomb.
- Salah Hafed Mahmud Suafta was a 23-year-old from a village northeast of Nablus. Suafta had in the past operated an explosives laboratory together with another brother, Nur Adin Suafta, in order to produce explosives for terror attacks. Suafta was jailed in a Jericho prison for a number of months at the beginning of this year. Following his release, Suafta returned to the West Bank and resumed his activities in Islamic Jihad.
- Husam Mahmud Ibrahim Isah was a 23-year-old resident of Sanur, north of Nablus. Isah began his activity in Islamic Jihad as an assistant in an attempt to carry out a terror attack. He was imprisoned in Israel in July 2003. After his release in 2005, Isah returned to his activities in Islamic Jihad but was arrested by the Palestinian Authority. When he was released from a Jericho prison, Isah came into contact with senior members of Islamic Jihad in Jenin, and has since been involved in several attempts to carry out suicide bombings against Israelis. Isah was in charge of the bombing plans thwarted last month along with Salah Suafta.