Skip to comments.IDF naval commando killed in battle with Hamas
Posted on 09/05/2003 10:33:54 AM PDT by yonif
Naval commando Sgt. Maj. Raanan Kumemi, 23, of Moshav Aminadav was killed, and four soldiers were wounded, one seriously, during an IDF operation to nab Hamas fugitives in Nablus early Thursday.
Kumemi was be buried at the military cemetery at mount Herzl Friday afternoon at 3PM. The wounded soldiers were taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where one is reported to be in serious condition.
Judea and Samaria Divisional commander Brig.Gen Gadi Eizencot, in a briefing with reporters, said that IDF forces, acting on intelligence information received regarding his whereabouts, were operating in the Raffidyia neighborhood in Nablus to arrest a Hamas fugitive.
The troops reached a seven-story building and called on residents to go outside before they went in to search the building for the fugitive.
As in such cases tracker dogs were sent in first to scour the area before the special forces went in.
Soldiers making their way through the building to search for the fugitives saw that the lift between the 2nd and 3rd floors was stuck. As they approached the third floor, the Hamas fugitive, who was standing on the top of lift, opened fire at the soldiers from close range. Kumemi was killed and four others injured in the burst of fire.
Soldiers returned fire at the terrorist, killing him.
A senior IDF official told The Jerusalem Post that Sgt.-Maj. Kumemi wore a ceramic bulletproof vest and that the bullet struck the space between the upper chest and neck which is unprotected.
Three Palestinians were arrested after the gunbattle, the army said. Soldiers laid explosive charges and blew up the building.
Eizencot said that the naval commando unit, together with other IDF units, operates around the clock in an effort to thwart attempts by terrorists to launch attacks.
The fugitive that the forces had wanted to arrest is believed to be Muhammad Hambali, the senior Hamas commander in the West Bank. Hambali was responsible for numerous attacks and the deaths of at least 20 Israelis and was in the midst of planning a suicide bombing attack to be carried out in the near future.
Eizencot said that security forces have arrested 150 Palestinians involved in terrorist activity in the past week alone, among them senior terrorist commanders.
IDF troops blowing up a Nablus apartment building where a gunman hid during a gunbattle Fri. (Reuters)
Note to the IDF: Next time, blow up the building first. Then scour the rubble. Safer that way.
It is my understanding that various Elite units of the IDF, including the naval commando unit, partake in operations away from water as a way of gaining experience in fighting within structural population centers which the terrorists use as cover. They usually take part in operations in conjuction with the Nahal infantry unit.
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