A prominent member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group in the northern West Bank was arrested by Israeli troops on Saturday morning, the military said.
According to a joint statement by the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security service, the suspect, Muhammad Abu Zina, was arrested during a daylight raid in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin.
The statement said Zina, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was previously jailed in Israel over his activities in Islamic Jihad. He was released in August this year.
“Immediately upon his release, Muhammad returned to [conducting] significant terror activity, in which he worked to finance and arm PIJ military infrastructure” in the northern West Bank, the IDF and Shin Bet said.
The IDF said that during the operation conducted by troops of the Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion, Palestinians hurled explosive devices and stones at soldiers.
No Israeli troops were hurt in the operation, the army added.
Abu Zina was transferred to the Shin Bet for further questioning.
مراسل نيو برس: الشاب الذي تم اختطافه من قبل قوة خاص تتبع لجيش الاحتلال، قبل قليل من بلدة قباطية، هو الأسير المحرر محمد سمير أبو زينة من بلدة قباطية جنوب مدينة جنين. pic.twitter.com/NuiM0sMwLe
— Newpress | نيو برس (@NewpressPs) November 12, 2022
Israeli security forces have stepped up their operations in the West Bank following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people in the spring of this year.
Since September, another three Israeli civilians have been killed in attacks.
Four soldiers have also been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.
The military’s operation, focused mostly on the northern West Bank, has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, and has left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.