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IDF raids terrorists’ hometowns, arrests 4 for allegedly aiding attacks

Troops operate in Rummanah and Qarawat Bani Hassan following deadly terror attacks in Elad and Ariel; 11 others arrested across West Bank

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

Security forces raided the hometowns of recent Palestinian terrorists in the predawn hours of Monday and arrested several suspects wanted for involvement in a series of deadly attacks, the military said.

In Rummanah near Jenin, two Palestinians were arrested on suspicion that they aided two terrorists who hacked three Israelis to death with an axe in the central city of Elad on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The two terrorists, As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, 19, and Subhi Emad Sbeihat, 20, were arrested Sunday morning in a forested area near Elad, about a kilometer from the scene of the attack. Later on Sunday, troops entered Rummanah to map out their residences ahead of a potential demolition.

In Qarawat Bani Hassan, troops detained two Palestinians suspected of aiding two members of the Hamas terror group who killed a security guard at the entrance of Ariel, a nearby settlement, in late April.

Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei were arrested a day after the deadly attack. The IDF has since mapped out their homes ahead of a potential demolition, and arrested another suspect who allegedly helped the pair commit the attack.

In other areas of the West Bank, troops detained 11 others over suspected involvement in terror activities, the IDF said. Two firearms were also seized in the town of Azzun.

Israeli soldiers operate in the West Bank town of Rummanah, May 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months, against a backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have left 19 dead since March 22.

The Israeli army stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence. The ensuing raids sparked clashes that left at least 27 Palestinians dead since mid-March, including at least two who appear to have been uninvolved.

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