Bethlehem sources say IDF forces operating in town kill Muhammad Shahade, Islamic Jihad operative believed to be responsible for attack on Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem; three other militants killed in raid (www.ynetnews.com) -- Muhammad Shahade, an Islamic Jihad operative who Palestinian sources say was behind the terror attack in Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem last week, has been killed by IDF forces in Bethlehem Wednesday afternoon, local witnesses reported. According to reports, another three militants have been killed in the raid, one of them an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member. Military sources said that the four men were responsible for a series of terror attacks against Israel in the years 2000-2001, but did not attribute the Jerusalem attack to Shahade.
Shahade, a former Fatah member and an Islamic Jihad operative, has been known to have extensive ties with Hizbullah. Palestinian sources reported that IDF forces have operated in the city, close to the Mukataa compound, and that several Palestinians have been injured. He said that Shahade was the target of the raid. A senior wanted terror suspect, Muhammad Balbul, has reportedly been injured in the clashes. Two days after the Jerusalem attack, which was carried out by Alaa Abu Dheim and left eight students killed, the police reported they have arrested eight people suspected of involvement in the attack.