IDF arrests 11 wanted Palestinians, seizes guns in overnight West Bank raids

Troops come under fire while operating in Shuweika, near Tulkarem, but are unhurt; clashes in al-Eizariya and Abu Dis; sniper rifles, handguns found hidden in Hebron home

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops operated extensively throughout the West Bank before dawn on Monday, arresting 11 wanted Palestinian suspects and seizing several firearms, the Israel Defense Forces said.

During a military raid alongside police officers in the West Bank city of Hebron, forces found four sniper rifles, two hunting rifles, three handguns, and other weapon parts hidden in the home of a Palestinian suspect.

He was arrested and taken for questioning, police said.

In the village of Shuweika, near Tulkarem, the IDF said Palestinian gunmen opened fire at troops as they were arresting a wanted man.

“The forces fired at gunmen who had fired at them. Suspects were hit,” the military said. There were no immediate reports by Palestinian media of injuries.

The IDF also reported clashes as forces operated in the towns of al-Eizariya and Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. “During the operation, suspects hurled stones, explosives and Molotov cocktails at the forces, who responded with riot dispersal means,” the military said.

Weapons seized by security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron, early January 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The 11 Palestinians who were wanted over suspected terror activities were taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt in the overnight raids, the army said.

The clashes and arrests came amid a months-long Israeli anti-terror effort, mostly in the northern West Bank, following a series of terror attacks that left 31 people dead in 2022.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another four since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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