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IDF: Troops nab terror operative behind series of shootings, bomb-making

Palestinian man said seriously hurt in clashes with military during arrest raid in West Bank’s Nablus

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early November 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early November 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli security forces on Friday morning arrested a wanted Palestinian in the West Bank city of Nablus accused of committing numerous shooting attacks in the area, officials said.

A joint statement by the Israel Defense Forces, Border Police and the Shin Bet security agency named the suspect as 22-year-old Ahmed Bassem Haraz.

Haraz was formerly jailed in Israel on terror offenses, including manufacturing explosives and weapons trading, the statement said.

“Haraz has been involved in carrying out shooting attacks against the military forces in the area of ​​the city of Nablus for months,” it added.

The IDF said troops came under fire during the operation, and several Palestinians hurled explosives at them. No soldiers were hurt.

Troops returned fire at the source of the shooting and shot at the Palestinians who hurled explosives, the IDF said.

Palestinian media reports said one person was seriously hurt by the troops’ gunfire.

Footage also showed Palestinians hurling stones at a convoy of military vehicles in the city.

A handgun and a military vest were also seized during the arrest, the military said.

The military said a second suspect was arrested in a town in the Qalqilya area.

Weapons and military equipment seized during an arrest raid in Nablus, early December 2, 2022. (Israel Police)

Troops were also searching for gunmen who attacked a bus in the West Bank in the pre-dawn hours of Friday. No injuries were caused.

Tensions have been high in the West Bank over the past year, with the IDF launching a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 31 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

Damage caused to an Israeli bus in a shooting attack near Ofra in the West Bank, early December 2, 2022. (Courtesy)

The operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left more than 150 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

Early Thursday, two senior terrorists were killed in overnight clashes, including a top Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) field commander, sparking fears of further escalation.

Both PIJ and the Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip threatened to hit back over the deaths.

Israeli officials were reportedly concerned about potential retaliation, including in the form of rocket fire from Gaza.

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