Undercover IDF soldiers detained by PA police in Nablus
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Undercover IDF soldiers detained by PA police in Nablus

Troops from elite Duvdevan unit exposed while on mission in northern West Bank; later released without harm

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. Soldiers from the IDF's elite Duvdevan unit in the West Bank in an undated photograph. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Illustrative. Soldiers from the IDF's elite Duvdevan unit in the West Bank in an undated photograph. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Two soldiers from the IDF’s elite Duvdevan unit were detained by Palestinian Authority police in Nablus on Saturday night and later released, officials said.

The two soldiers were apparently on an undercover mission in the northern West Bank city when they were discovered by PA police, the army said.

After the soldiers were picked up by PA security forces, they were taken to a Nablus police station for a “check,” the army added.

A short while later they were handed back over to the IDF, with help from the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), military officials said.

Videos from social media appear to indicate that the soldiers were stopped by PA forces when they tried to drive a car through a Palestinian security checkpoint in the city.

According to Army Radio, the soldiers and PA police exchanged blows, but no one was seriously injured.

The soldiers’ equipment, including their weapons, was seized by PA police, but was later returned, Channel 2 news reported.

A military spokesperson said details of the incident were still being investigated.

This type of incident is uncommon. While Israeli troops are occasionally pulled out of Palestinian villages by PA security services, it is generally after they enter the area accidentally, not during a mission.

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