THe body of Amir Abu Khadija after the dawn skirmish in Tulkarem (Photo: @sham_m7md - Twitter)

The terrorist Amir Abu Khadija, who has been referred to in Palestinian media outlets as the "Commander of the Tulkarem Brigade", was killed Thursday morning in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces in the village of Ezbet Shofa. He founded the brigade by leaving the Jenin Brigade a few months ago. Video footage from multiple Israel Defense Forces operations show him shooting at Israeli security forces.

Abu Khadija was recently involved in many shooting incidents at localities in the area, both attacking civilians and the security forces operating at the Tanim checkpoint. 

Intelligence gathered by the fedral security service 'Shin Bet', revealed his location, and IDF forces, the Judea and Samaria district Police Force and the Israeli Jenin Border patrol force raided the house where he was hiding in a village near Tulkarem. Having spotted the forces appraching his building, Khadija pulled out a weapon and tried to shoot from the window at members of the Police but was shot and injured before he could inflict any harm. Having subdued him, the security forces entered the apartment where he was staying and was met with gunfire, as with the earlier incident, they returned fire, this time killing Abu Khadija.

The person who was staying with Khadija in the apartment turned himself into security forces, was arrested, and handed over to the Shin Bet for further investigation. An M-16 rifle and other weapons were seized from the terrorist's possession, and his vehicle was confiscated. There were no casualties among the Israeli security forces. It should be noted that last year, also on the first day of Ramada, IDF forces eliminated the leading terrorist in the village of Araba which lies between Jenin and Tulkarem, during a similar operation to arrest wanted persons.

In the shadow of the security escalation, the security establishment is preparing more intensively for the month of Ramadan which began today. Over the past few months, as part of an extensive operation, IDF forces arrested about 500 suspects. Most of the arrested are terrorists and instigators, who the security establishment preferred to be behind bars during the holiday due to intelligence indicating their murderous plans in the coming month.

In recent times, the Judea and Samaria IDF division has been working to prevent an acute escalation as much as possible. In each brigade throughout Judea and Samaria, various scenarios of escalation have been practiced. The seam line has also been fortified, in order to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into the heart of Israel.

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