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Palestinian killed in clash with IDF; troops nab suspect in planning attacks

Military says Ratib al-Bali was ‘advancing significant terror attacks’; troops come under fire during raid in Burqin; eight arrested in overnight operations across West Bank

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

Israeli troops arrest a wanted Palestinian during a raid in the West Bank, early November 21, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops arrest a wanted Palestinian during a raid in the West Bank, early November 21, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen near the West Bank city of Jenin on Monday morning, as they went in to arrest a wanted man accused of planning “significant” terror attacks, the military said.

One Palestinian man was killed and four others were hurt amid the clashes, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the suspect, Ratib al-Bali, previously jailed for terror offenses, was involved in numerous shootings in recent weeks, and was “advancing significant terror attacks.”

Troops had surrounded al-Bali’s home in the village of Burqin, near Jenin, as clashes broke out. A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said its members opened fire at troops as they operated in the city and near al-Bali’s home.

According to the IDF and footage of the incident, al-Bali surrendered to troops at his home and was arrested.

The IDF said gunmen opened fire and hurled explosive devices at troops, who responded with gunfire. The army added that “hits were identified.”

Palestinian media identified the killed man as Mahmoud Saadi. The ministry said four others were moderately or lightly wounded in the clashes.

In footage published by Palestinian media outlets, gunfire can be heard in the Jenin area.

A small explosion, reportedly an improvised bomb used against Israeli troops, was also seen in one clip.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt in the clashes, the IDF said.

This spring, the military launched a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 29 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — though not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In raids across the West Bank early Monday, aside from al-Bali, another eight wanted Palestinians were arrested, the IDF said.

Separately on Monday morning, police said officers arrested two Israelis suspected of assaulting troops and initiating clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday.

Israeli security forces deploy riot dispersal means amid altercations between Israelis and Palestinians, on their way to visit the tomb of Othniel in the West Bank city of Hebron, on November 19, 2022 (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

The clashes came as thousands of Jewish Israelis spent the weekend in the city for an annual pilgrimage tradition.

A female soldier was beaten and lightly hurt by an Israeli man, who the Haaretz daily reported was himself a soldier, and two Palestinians were hurt by stones thrown by Israelis.

Police said the two detainees were suspected of “involvement in assault incidents” in Hebron, without specifying. Six men arrested on Saturday after being suspected of participating in the violence were released on Sunday, Channel 12 news reported.

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