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Palestinians briefly capture Israeli military dog set on suspect in West Bank

Border Police and IDF’s Oketz K9 unit seeks to arrest man, who flees with dog clinging to him, later turns himself in to PA; heavy clashes reported amid incident

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

A military dog captured by Palestinians amid a raid in the West Bank city of Dura, near Hebron on July 4, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)
A military dog captured by Palestinians amid a raid in the West Bank city of Dura, near Hebron on July 4, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)

A military dog sent to take down a wanted Palestinian man was briefly captured by locals in the West Bank city of Dura on Monday afternoon.

According to a Border Police spokesman, officers along with the Israeli military’s Oketz canine unit sought to arrest the Palestinian suspected of “terror activities” in the city near Hebron.

“When the forces arrived, the wanted man fled the house,” the spokesman said.

He said the Oketz dog was sent to try and make an arrest as the suspect fled, but “clung to the wanted person, who was assisted by a vehicle that passed by.”

A video circulated online showed what appeared to be the wounded military dog captured by locals.

The dog was retrieved by the forces “after a few minutes,” according to the police spokesman, who said it was unharmed. The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the incident.

The suspect later turned himself in to the Palestinian Authority security forces, Border Police said. It was not immediately clear if he would be taken by Israel to be questioned.

Heavy clashes were reported between Palestinians and Israeli troops amid the incident, with footage showing dozens of people hurling stones at military vehicles.

Unconfirmed Palestinian media reports said at least four people were hurt by Israeli fire.

Rights groups have previously lamented the army’s use of dogs against Palestinians.

Israeli security forces have stepped up their operations in the West Bank following a deadly wave of terror attacks that left 19 people dead between mid-March and the beginning of May. The raids have mostly concentrated on the increasingly unstable Jenin area, home to several of the attackers.

During raids across the West Bank overnight, security forces arrested 13 wanted Palestinians, the IDF said Monday morning. During an operation in Jenin that detained two suspects, improvised explosive devices were hurled at the forces, and gunfire was heard in the area, a statement said.

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