IDF kills two Israelis in case of mistaken
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
IDF forces shot dead two Israeli security guards near a Hebron-area West Bank settlement Thursday afternoon, apparently believing them to be terrorists.
The victims were in charge of guarding an antenna used for research and development on a hilltop in the area. At the time of the shooting, they had pulled over on a dirt road to make some coffee.
The army said it had received warnings of a possible terror attack in the area and that the two Israelis did not heed soldiers' calls to stop. The IDF is conducting an investigation into the incident, which took place at 1 P.M. on a road east of Pnei Hever settlement, close to the Zif Highway junction.
Soldiers had been searching for Palestinians planning to attack an Israeli vehicle on the road leading to Pnei Hever. An elite lookout force noticed the two security guards on the dirt road, which leads to a Pnei Hever road. One of the victims was armed and sitting in the car and the other was next to the car at the time of the shooting.
The lookout force called for help from shooters on the ground, which opened fire on the guard sitting in the car and killed him. The second security guard ran to his aid and was killed by Air Force helicopter gunfire.
It was intially believed that the shooting was an ambush attack in which Palestinians disguised as soldiers had opened fire on an Israeli car.
The army has beefed up forces and gone on special alert in and around Hebron in recent days, after a series of Palestinian attacks on settlers and soldiers in the flashpoint city.
IDF arrests three Palestinians suspected of planning terror attacks
IDF troops arrested 20 Palestinians in the West Bank before dawn Thursday, three of whom are suspected of planning terror attacks, Israel Radio reported.
Security forces in Jerusalem also arrested a Palestinian man from Azzariyeh, in the West Bank, Thursday on suspicion of planning to attack police officers and soldiers, Army Radio reported. The suspect was found carrying a firebomb and a knife.
Troops arrested Islamic Jihad man Mahmoud Hizmiya overnight in Qabatiyah, south of Jenin, whom they suspected of planning to carry out a suicide bomb attack.
They also arrested two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine near Nablus on suspicion that they planned to carry out an attack in a West Bank settlement.
Two more Palestinian suspects were arrested overnight west of Jenin, one of whom was found with a Kalashnikov rifle and two rounds of ammunition.
Funeral to be held Thursday for IDF soldier killed near Tul Karm
An Israel Defense Forces soldier, Staff Sergeant Asaf Fuchs, 21, from Kibbutz Gvat, was killed and another was wounded Wednesday in exchanges of fire in the West Bank village of Saida, near Tul Karm, as troops hunted for militants on the army's wanted list.
Fuchs will be buried at 3:30 P.M. Thursday on Kibbutz Gvat.
Palestinian witnesses said that an armed Islamic Jihad member, Rami El Ashkar, was killed in exchanges of fire with troops.
IDF troops arrested 16 wanted Palestinians between Wednesday and Thursday in Saida, near Tul Karm. A curfew was imposed in Saida, a village considered to be an Islamic Jihad stronghold, throughout the operation