IDF soldiers arrest 12 wanted Palestinians in West Bank amid ongoing unrest

Footage shows convoy of military vehicles coming under rock attack in Ramallah area; Palestinian shot after allegedly hurling firebombs at troops

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, October 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, October 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops operated extensively throughout the West Bank in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning, arresting 12 wanted Palestinians, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces launched major arrest operations after a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year. Another Israeli woman was killed in a suspected attack last month, and another four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

Footage circulated online showed Palestinians hurling stones, cinderblocks, and other heavy objects at a convoy of Israeli military vehicles in the town of al-Bireh near Ramallah.

The IDF did not confirm if any arrests were made in the Palestinian city.

In the village of Abu Dis on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the IDF said troops detained four Palestinians over suspected involvement in terror activities, and another suspect in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.

In Nablus as troops arrested a wanted Palestinian, sounds of gunfire were heard in the area, the military said.

The 12 suspects were taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

The military said no troops were hurt during the overnight raids.

In a separate raid on Tuesday afternoon, Border Police said officers arrested a member of the Lion’s Den armed group in a Palestinian town near Nablus.

According to a police spokesman, Suhaib Akef Jamil Shtayyeh was detained by undercover troops in a store in the town of Salem.

Police said Shtayyeh was suspected of being a member of the Lion’s Den terror squad, which has claimed responsibility for numerous shooting attacks in the Nablus area in recent months. Shtayyeh was also transferred to the Shin Bet for further questioning.

He is the brother of Musab Shtayyeh, a wanted Hamas man who was arrested by the Palestinian Authority last month, and had also been tied to Lion’s Den.

Israeli soldiers arrest a wanted Palestinian man in the West Bank on October 16, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces, file)

Also on Tuesday, the IDF said three Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails at troops near the town of Majdal Bani Fadil in the northern West Bank.

Troops responded with gunfire, hitting one of them, who was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment as the other two fled, according to the military.

Firebombs were also hurled at an Israeli bus on Route 55 near the West Bank village of Khirbat al-Nabi Elias on Tuesday evening, without causing any injuries.

The anti-terror offensive launched earlier this year has netted more than 2,000 arrests during the near-nightly raids in Palestinian cities, towns, and villages. It has also left around 100 Palestinians dead, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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