18 Palestinians arrested in predawn West Bank raids; border cops thwart breach
search

18 Palestinians arrested in predawn West Bank raids; border cops thwart breach

In overnight operations, security forces also seize ‘terror funds’ and guns, including an assault rifle and a submachine gun hidden in a Barbie backpack

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

A Carlo-style submachine gun, inside a pink Barbie backpack, which was dropped by a Palestinian suspect who police say tried to enter Israel from the northern West Bank on July 16, 2018. (Israel Police)
A Carlo-style submachine gun, inside a pink Barbie backpack, which was dropped by a Palestinian suspect who police say tried to enter Israel from the northern West Bank on July 16, 2018. (Israel Police)

Israeli security forces arrested 19 Palestinian suspects in raids across the West Bank on Sunday night and early Monday morning, officials said.

In addition to the arrests, the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police and Shin Bet security service found and confiscated a number of guns in the city of Hebron and also seized thousands of shekels that the military said were intended to fund Palestinian terrorist operations.

Riots broke out in response to IDF raids in the West Bank town of Kafr Bidu and in the nearby East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab. Though Kafr Aqab was annexed by Israel and is part of the capital, the neighborhood sits on the West Bank side of the security fence and often falls under the responsibility of the IDF.

During the riots, dozens of residents threw rocks and other objects at the troops. The soldiers responded with less-lethal riot dispersal weapons, the army said.

No injuries were reported on either side.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, 18 Palestinians were arrested in predawn raids across the West Bank. They were suspected of being involved in terrorist activities or taking part in low-level violence against Israeli troops and civilians, mostly in the form of rock throwing.

An M-4 assault rifle that was seized by the Israeli military in a raid on the West Bank city of Hebron on July 16, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

During the raids in Hebron, the military uncovered the cache of weapons, which included an M-4 assault rifle, an air-powered pistol, ammunition, magazines and other assorted gun parts, the army said.

An assortment of gun parts that were seized by the Israeli military in a raid on the West Bank city of Hebron on July 16, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

The thousands of shekels worth of “terror funds” were seized during a search in the northern West Bank, near the Tapuah Junction, the army said.

“This activity was part of the campaign against funds used for terror,” the military said.

In addition to these raids, which were planned in advance, the Border Police also arrested one Palestinian who they said was part of a group that attempted to enter Israel from the northern West Bank, near the city of Jenin.

“Troops spotted a number of suspects trying to use a ladder to cross the security fence,” police said.

“Once they were spotted, the forces chased after the suspects on foot. During the chase, some of them fled back toward the West Bank and some of them seem to have entered Israel,” police said.

One of the suspects was caught and handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning. He was a resident of Jenin, in his 20s, police said.

A pair of bolt-cutters which were dropped by a Palestinian suspect who police say tried to enter Israel from the northern West Bank on July 16, 2018. (Israel Police)

In addition, during the chase, one of the suspects threw away a pink Barbie backpack containing a Carlo-style submachine gun, a common type of weapon in the West Bank, often made locally from readily available materials.

“The troops also found a cellphone and a bolt-cutter for getting through fences,” the police said.

The commander of the unit that interrupted the infiltration praised his officers for “preventing the infiltration of weapons into Israeli territory.”

read more:
less
comments
more