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Security Forces, in West Bank Operations, Smash Two El Fatah Bands

March 5, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli security forces announced today the killing of two El Fatah gang members and the arrest of 18 others, including two senior commanders from whom it was learned, for the first time, that some members of the Arab terrorist and sabotage organization were trained in East Germany. The arrests and the seizure of large stores of El Fatah arms and ammunition followed a sweeping search of Arab villages near Ramallah and the surrounding countryside where an El Fatah gang early Saturday morning sabotaged a heavy equipment storage depot owned by the Mekorot water company and murdered a Druze watchman. The watchman’s rifle was found among the arms seized.

The two El Fatah commanders, Kamal Nimri, an engineer, and William Naguib Nasser, a sabotage expert, were netted at an identification check in one of the Arab villages under curfew. Their “cooperation” with Israel authorities led to the arrest of the other gang members and the discovery of the El Fatah arsenals, a security spokesman said.

Naguib Nasser, a known El Fatah leader admitted that he had instructed saboteurs in Algeria and Syria and had also trained El Fatah recruits in East Germany prior to their departure for the Middle East. He said he entered Judaea (the West Bank) early in February after being briefed by Abu Amr, senior commander of the El Fatah camps in Syria.


The questioning of the two leaders led security forces to a cave near Ramallah where part of the terrorist gang was hiding. One of them was killed and another wounded in a brief exchange of fire. An arms cache consisting of 10 bazooka shells, 20 grenades, two rifles and four sub-machine guns was later discovered in a garage in Beth Hanina village along with a pile of El Fatah posters. Four gang members were arrested in Ramoon village. Eight were arrested at Dahariya village on Mt. Hebron where 11 sub-machine guns, one medium machine gun and more grenades were found. Another four were seized in Gaza along with seven submachine guns, one heavy machine gun and a bazooka.

An Arab murder ring that specialized in killing fellow Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities was broken up in Nablus today after security forces demolished four buildings that had been used as hideouts. The group, all members of El Fatah, was rounded up after one of them attempted to escape over the rooftops of the Nablus casbah, the old oriental section of town. The owners of the buildings were also arrested. The ring was uncovered as a result of eye-witness reports that linked it to the murder of a young Arab taxi driver in Nablus.

The northern section of the Gaza Strip was under curfew today following the death of two Israeli irrigation workers Sunday afternoon when their jeep hit a mine south of Yad Mordechai. The victims, both immigrants from Tunisia. employed by the Mekorot water company, were buried in the new immigrant township of Shderot today.

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