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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 19, 2002

Head of Palestinian Authority special forces responsible for a terrorist cell

IDF forces, in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency arrested the head of the Palestinian Authority special forces, who was also one of the commanders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Bethlehem. The brigade is the military wing of the Fatah organization.
Rafat Nafz Rashad Gaobara, 29, was arrested yesterday morning in a safe-house in Bethlehem.

An organization of terrorist cells

Since the beginning of the conflict, Gaobara has been involved in the organization of terrorist cells to carry out numerous shooting attacks emanating from Bethlehem towards the Jerusalem neighborhood, Gilo. In addition, he dispatched suicide bomber, Muhamad Da'ar Yassin, who carried out the suicide attack in a supermarket in Efrat on 22 Feb. 2002, in which one person was wounded. Rafat planned to carry out additional terrorist attacks in the near future.

Additional wanted terrorist responsible for the murder of five Israelis Arrested

In addition, a Tanzim militant, Bahar Halil Sahada Najar, was arrested. Bahar was involved in shooting attacks, mostly in Hebron, including the attack on an Israeli vehicle at the Zif Junction, 8 Oct. 2002, in which Oded Walk was killed and three others were injured. He also participated in the July 26, 2002, attack on two Israeli vehicles at the Halat el-Miah Junction, near Hebron. As a result of the attack, three residents of Psagot were killed including Yossi Hani, Shrial Dikstein and IDF soldier Elizar Libowietz. Three additional people were injured.