Israeli forces said to arrest senior Islamic Jihad member in the West Bank

Palestinian Prisoner’s Media Office says troops detain Khader Adnan in hometown near Jenin; Israeli authorities return body of teen killed after aiming gun at police in Shuafat

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

Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, during a television interview in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)
Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, during a television interview in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

Israeli troops arrested a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in a northern West Bank early on Sunday, Palestinian media reports said.

In overnight raids, Israeli forces detained Khader Adnan in his hometown village of Arrabeh, southwest of Jenin, the reports said, citing the Palestinian Prisoner’s Media Office, a group that represents Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops detained seven wanted Palestinians in overnight raids across the West Bank, including two in Arrabeh and the nearby village of Aja, but did not name Adnan.

Adnan, 44, has long been accused of being a spokesperson for the terror group. He has been arrested several times in recent years and served several prison sentences in connection with his work with the PIJ. He has also gone on hunger strike several times over his detention.

During an IDF raid in the nearby village of Bir al-Basha, Palestinians opened fire at forces from a passing vehicle, the military said, adding that the soldiers returned fire at the car.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt during the overnight raids.

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early February 5, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Also overnight, Israeli authorities handed over the body of a teenager killed by police in the Shuafat refugee camp last month. On January 25, Salah Muhammad Ali, 17, was shot while aiming a fake gun at officers.

The arrest early Sunday came as tensions remained high in the West Bank.

The IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive to deal with a series of attacks that left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022, and seven more in an attack last month.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 36 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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