The London Telegraph reports that Israeli security forces found several Palestinian terrorist leaders in a tunnel last night and killed them when they refused to surrender, during an operation launched after an attack on a military post earlier:
Israel’s most wanted man and six other Palestinian militants have been killed in a raid by paratroopers who found the men huddled in a secret tunnel beneath a house in the old city of Nablus. Among the dead was Nayef Abu Sharkh, 40, the commander of the militant group the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank. Local leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and four other gunmen were also killed.
They found the militants’ hideout on Saturday after seeing a fugitive from an earlier encounter in Nablus slip into the house, military officials said.
After the men in the tunnel ignored orders to surrender, the paratroopers lobbed hand grenades and fired automatic weapons through openings at both ends and detonated charges.
Sharkh, as the Telegraph reports, has been at the top of Israel’s most-wanted list for a long time, and his involvement with Arafat’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades demonstrates the official links that the Palestinian Authority has to terrorists that target Israeli citizens. Their choice of hiding place also underscores what Israel has said all along about tunnels being built by terrorists in order to evade capture and hide and transit weaponry.
The Palestinians, predictably, swarmed the streets promising revenge, but since none of their leadership have shown the slightest inclination to allow the Jewish state to exist, that threat holds no special fear for Israelis; it simply means that the Palestinians will continue to do business as usual. It’s just that they have seven less terrorists with which to do so. Until the Palestinians demonstrate concrete examples of commitment to a two-state solution that guarantees the right of Israel to exist, without playing demographic games like the ludicrous “right of return” into Israel proper, then negotiations are pointless.