Palestinian gunmen clash with IDF troops in early-morning West Bank raid
Army says no soldiers hurt during attempt to arrest wanted man in Tubas; Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for gunfire; operation comes after brief pause during Biden’s visit
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen during an early morning raid in the northern West Bank city of Tubas, after an apparent brief pause in military operations amid US President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, as soldiers were attempting to arrest a wanted Palestinian, several suspects opened fire and others hurled stones and Molotov cocktails.
“IDF soldiers opened fire at the gunmen who fired at them, and at key rioters,” the military said, adding that “hits were identified.”
Palestinian media, citing medical sources, said two people were hurt by the Israeli gunfire. Their conditions were not immediately clear.
The IDF said no soldiers were hurt in the incident. It was not clear if the target of the raid was arrested.
A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for the gunfire. A statement claimed members of the group managed to damage Israeli military vehicles as they entered the city.
A video circulating on social media showed an army jeep being hit by a Molotov cocktail.
تغطية صحفية: "مشاهد لحرق جيب للاحتلال وإعطابه مع جيب آخر خلال اشتباكات ومواجـــهات في طوباس".#فلسطين pic.twitter.com/cL0pc3gGRf
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) July 17, 2022
Sunday’s raid came following a brief pause in arrest operations in the West Bank, amid Biden’s two-day trip that included meetings with Israeli leaders and a visit to East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The US president departed from the country on Friday.
It was thought the IDF wished to avoid any major confrontation during the visit.
The shooting in Tubas also followed an uptick in attacks in the northern West Bank in recent weeks.
On Friday, an Israeli man was injured during an unauthorized visit to Joseph’s Tomb in the Palestinian city of Nablus, after he and several other people came under Palestinian fire.
Tensions in the West Bank have remained high, as Israeli security forces stepped up operations following a deadly wave of terror attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead earlier this year.