Islamic Jihad member killed in W. Bank clash with IDF; closure set for Yom Kippur

Military says troops entered Kafr Dan, near Jenin, to search for illegal weapons; senior Lion’s Den member detained in Nablus

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

Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early September 21, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early September 21, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was shot dead during clashes with Israeli troops in a northern West Bank village, the terror group and Palestinian health officials said Friday morning.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said the man, identified by media reports as Abdullah Imad Abu Hassan, was fatally shot in the stomach in Kafr Dan, west of Jenin.

Abu Hassan was from the nearby town of al-Yamoun. His exact age was not given.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad later said Abu Hassan was a member and a “fighter” in a local wing of the terror group in the Jenin area.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops entered Kafr Dan to search for illegal weapons.

Amid the raid, “suspects opened fire and hurled an explosive device at the forces, who responded with live fire,” the IDF said, adding that several suspects were hit.

A number of military vehicles were damaged by the gunfire and makeshift bombs, the IDF said.

In another raid overnight, the IDF, police, and the Shin Bet security agency said troops entered the West Bank city of Nablus and arrested Khaled Tubila, identified by Palestinian media as a senior member of the local Lion’s Den terror group.

The Shin Bet said Tubila was wanted for being involved in a number of shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank in recent months.

Officers of the elite police Yamam counterterrorism unit surrounded Tubila’s house until he eventually turned himself in, a joint statement said.

“During the operation [in Nablus], suspects threw stones, Molotov cocktails, and explosives at the troops who responded with riot dispersal means,” the military said.

According to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency, six Palestinians were wounded by live fire and more than 130 others were treated for tear gas inhalation during the clashes in Nablus.

The IDF said that it had detained another three wanted Palestinians across the West Bank overnight. In the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near Jericho, troops seized an assault rifle and a makeshift submachine gun, the IDF added.

Violence has surged across the region over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops in the West Bank, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the beginning of the year have left 27 civilians and three soldiers dead, and several others seriously wounded.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 187 West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians have been killed during the same period — the majority during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the IDF announced that it was imposing a closure on border crossings between Israel and the West Bank during Yom Kippur this weekend. The various checkpoints would reopen Tuesday morning, following a fresh assessment.

The Erez Crossing with the Gaza Strip has remained closed since September 15 amid near-daily rioting on the Israeli border. The checkpoint would remain shuttered until the Hamas terror group works to curb the violence, according to Israeli officials.

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