3 Palestinians reported hurt in clashes as army hunts Ofra attackers

IDF sets up checkpoints around Ramallah, carries out raids in several locations; baby delivered after attack still in ‘very serious’ condition

Israeli soldiers conduct a search for suspects of a terror attack yesterday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 10, 2018. (Flash90)
Israeli soldiers conduct a search for suspects of a terror attack yesterday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 10, 2018. (Flash90)

At least three Palestinians were reported shot and several more arrested amid intense clashes with Israeli troops overnight during a manhunt for suspects behind a Sunday shooting attack in the West Bank.

Troops also set up checkpoints around Ramallah and area villages, according to Palestinian reports.

The Israel Defense Forces refused to comment on the reports, directing questions to the Border Police, who did not immediately respond.

Troops have been engaged in a manhunt since a drive-by terror attack on a bus stop near the settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah. Seven people waiting at the stop were injured, including a pregnant woman who was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. Doctors managed to deliver the baby but are fighting for his life.

Jerusalem Shaare Zedek medical center said Tuesday morning that the woman’s condition had improved and she had woken up, but the baby was still in “very serious” condition.

The IDF said troops carried out raids in a number of locations in the central West Bank.

“Among other things, they are carrying out additional checks at the entrances and exits of villages in the area,” the army said.

In the town of Tubas, south of Nablus, Border Police troops fired at Palestinian rioters during clashes that broke out during a raid, injuring at least three people, according to reports.

Low-level clashes and arrest raids were also reported in other Palestinians towns and villages.

Israeli soldiers search for gunmen who opened fire at a bus stop outside the West Bank settlement of Ofra, injuring seven people, on December 9, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

According to the IDF, soldiers arrested 19 suspects throughout the West Bank.

The army said it also seized thousands of shekels in the town of Idhna in the southern West Bank, which it said were going to be used to fund terrorist activities.

In Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian governor, soldiers set up checkpoints to limit movement in and out of the city and raided shops in the nearby suburb of Birzeit, confiscating footage from security cameras.

On Monday, troops carried out a rare daytime raid in Ramallah, storming the offices of the Palestinian Authority’s Wafa news agency and other nearby buildings for security footage.

Israeli soldiers deploy during clashes in the West Bank city of Ramallah following a raid on December 10, 2018, one day after a drive-by shooting attack next to a settlement in which many Israelis were injured. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)

Low level clashes broke out just a few hundred meters from the home of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, with two Palestinians injured by live fire, according to the Red Crescent ambulance service.

An army spokeswoman said she could not comment on the Ramallah raid, including whether it was part of the hunt for the gunmen from Sunday night’s incident.

PA officials fumed over the raid Monday, with Mahmoud Abbas speaking to foreign officials to urge action against Israel, according to Wafa.

Abbas’s office threatened “important and fateful decisions” would be made if the raids on Palestinian cities and “acts of aggression” against Palestinians continue, without elaborating.

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