Border Police Unit Leader Killed in All-night Shootout in West Bank

The commander of a special undercover unit of the border police, a Palestinian woman and two terrorists tied to the Palestine Liberation Organization were killed in an all-night battle in the West Bank town of Jenin.

The dead woman’s two daughters, ages 1 and 3, and another Arab woman were wounded in the shootout.

The battle, which lasted through the wee hours of Wednesday, was one of the fiercest ever fought by undercover units operating in the administered territories.

The special unit was sent to an apartment building in Jenin at around 1 a.m. Wednesday, after intelligence information was received that two terrorists wanted by Israeli authorities had found shelter in the apartment of a man named Khaled Alawneh.

The police, under the command of Inspector Eliahu Avraham, were fired on as they tried to jump from the roof into the second-floor apartment where the terrorists were located. Avraham was fatally wounded. As he lay bleeding on a staircase, the rest of the unit tried to reach him but was prevented from doing so by the heavy fire.

It was apparently during this shootout that a woman who lived in the building was shot dead and her daughters severely wounded.

A resident of Jerusalem, Avraham, 29, was married and the father of a 6-month-old baby. He was the founder of the special border police undercover unit, which worked along with similar undercover units of the Israel Defense Force in the territories.

The dead terrorists belonged to the so-called Black Panther unit of A1 Fatah, the mainstream movement of the PLO, and had reportedly been on Israel’s most-wanted list for some time.

One of them, Ibrahim Salman Jalamna, 18, of Jenin, had been sought since October 1989. He was suspected of committing a variety of terrorist acts, including armed attacks of Israeli soldiers, violent interrogation of local Palestinians and the murder of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.

The second terrorist, Ibrahim Sa’id A-Zarka, 21, also from Jenin, was wanted for the murder in Jenin in February of an Israeli, Lior Zerliker, who was a guard on an oil tanker.

Another incident took place Wednesday morning in the Gaza Strip, when a terrorist tried to stab a soldier.

The soldier’s life was saved by his flak jacket, which stopped the knife from entering. He was not injured.

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