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IDF troops attacked during West Bank overnight arrest raid

Pipe bombs, firebombs hurled at soldiers in Jenin; army shuts down suspected gunsmithing workshop in Hebron, makes arrests

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IDF soldiers during a raid on illegal weapons manufacturing workshops in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank on September 26, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
IDF soldiers during a raid on illegal weapons manufacturing workshops in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank on September 26, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

IDF troops clashed with residents of the West Bank city of Jenin following an arrest raid in its refugee camp on early Thursday morning, the army said.

According to initial reports, a number of pipe bombs and firebombs were hurled at the soldiers, who opened fire at their attackers.

The army entered the Palestinian city’s refugee camp to conduct an arrest raid in the city, when they came under attack by local residents.

During the operation, the IDF picked up two suspected Hamas members — brothers Muhammad and Ahmed As’ad Abu Khalifa, according to Palestinian media.

Over Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the army conducted a number of operations throughout the West Bank, including a crackdown on the manufacturing of illegal weapons in the city of Hebron, the army said.

"Carlo" submachine gun found in car after shooting attack outside Arab village of Aboud, January 25, 2017 (IDF Spokesperson's unit)
“Carlo” submachine gun found in car after shooting attack outside Arab village of Aboud, January 25, 2017 (IDF Spokesperson’s unit)

In the village of Aboud, northwest of Ramallah, the IDF also collected evidence from the home of a Palestinian man — identified by Palestinian media as Raed Omar Nizar Barghouti — who opened fire on an army post earlier in the evening, the army said.

Small-scale fighting was reported during an arrest raid in the Dheisheh refugee camp, outside Bethlehem.

The clashes broke out after IDF troops moved into the city to pick up two residents, Palestinian media reported.

In Hebron, the army shuttered a workshop that is believed to have been used to craft makeshift guns, the army said.

Eight pieces of machinery — drill presses and lathes — were confiscated during the operation.

IDF troops confiscate a piece of machinery allegedly used to create illegal makeshift weapons in the West Bank city of Hebron on January 26, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
IDF troops confiscate a piece of machinery allegedly used to create illegal makeshift weapons in the West Bank city of Hebron on January 26, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

“This operation represents just one of many operations being conducted in the Judea region each night to seize workshops and weapons,” the army said in a statement.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers picked up five more Palestinian suspects, four of them for rock throwing.

The fifth, who was arrested in al-Hashimia, north of Jenin, was suspected of being a member of the Hamas terrorist organization, the army said.

Earlier on Wednesday night, Barghouti shot at an army position outside Aboud from a passing car. IDF troops fired back, wounding him. He received medical treatment on the scene before being taken to a nearby hospital, the army said.

Barghouti’s attack came hours after IDF troops shot dead a Palestinian man who rammed his car into a West Bank bus stop north of Jerusalem on Wednesday evening.

Israeli forensic policemen and security forces inspect the site where a Palestinian man drove at a bus stop in an attempted car-ramming attack before being shot dead, near the West Bank settlement of Adam, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 25, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI)
Israeli forensic policemen and security forces inspect the site where a Palestinian man drove at a bus stop in an attempted car-ramming attack before being shot dead, near the West Bank settlement of Adam, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 25, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI)

The Israeli civilians and soldiers who were standing at the bus stop were uninjured.

According to the army, the driver crashed his truck into the metal bollards surrounding a bus stop near the Kochav Yaakov settlement in the central West Bank, southeast of Ramallah.

Upon searching the car, the soldiers found the driver to be holding a knife, the military said.

Car-ramming and knife attacks have been a fixture of a swell of deadly violence in Israel and the West Bank over the past 18 months, and sporadic attacks have persisted even as the wave of violence has somewhat subsided in recent months.

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