BARKAN, Israel - An IDF unit prevented a group of Arab infiltrators from entering the community of Barkan in southern Samaria (the West Bank).
Because of repeated attempts by local Arabs to infiltrate the town, the IDF has posted a night guard from the Ephraim Brigade in Barkan.
About 2:00 a.m., the troops spotted a group in the area and waited to see what they were up to. One of them appeared to be armed.
When it became clear they were approaching the town's security fence, the soldiers called to them to halt, but they ignored the order. At that point, the troops opened fire on the cell, killing the armed gunmen and taking another into custody, while the others managed to escape.
IDF forces were searching the area for the rest of the infiltrators.
Following the incident, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, contacted commanders from the Palestinian Authority security forces in the Kalkilya region to request a joint investigation into the attempted attack.
Mordechai asked PA commanders to deploy their own forces to restrain the local Arab population.
The PA forces sent a representative to the scene, the IDF Spokesperson's Office reported.
Initial assessments indicate the motive may have been criminal rather than nationalistic, but that remains to be verified.
Barkan, founded in 1981 and located slightly west of Ariel, is home to a large industrial park housing 120 businesses and factories employing around 5,000 people.
Arabs from surrounding communities work alongside their Jewish neighbors in many of these businesses.
In April, PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed legislation banning Arabs from working in Jewish-owned businesses. Violators could face up to a five-year prison term and hefty fines.
The PA also ordered a boycott on all goods and produce from Jewish towns and farms in Judea and Samaria.
Along the Gaza Border
Meanwhile, IDF troops killed two members of an Islamic Jihad terror cell as they approached the security fence in northern Gaza.
IDF commanders ordered a tank to open fire on them after receiving warnings that a terror cell from Beit Hanoun was preparing to fire an anti-tank missile at troops patrolling along the border.
According to Palestinian medical sources, six members of the cell were hospitalized.