Troops come under fire in West Bank; 4 suspects nabbed
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Troops come under fire in West Bank; 4 suspects nabbed

IDF, police arrest 20 Palestinians over Yom Kippur connected to gunfire exchange with soldiers, funding Hamas terror, rock-throwing

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man after he allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 1, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Illustrative. Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man after he allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 1, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces and police arrested 11 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank during the Yom Kippur holiday, from Tuesday to Wednesday night, officials said.

Nine more Palestinians were arrested in raids on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, the army said.

The suspects were allegedly involved in an array of incidents.

These ranged from a gunfire exchange with IDF troops (in which no one was injured) to handling funds for the Hamas terror group to rock throwing, according to the police and military.

Gunfire in Nilin

On Tuesday night, an IDF soldier monitoring the security fence between Israel and the West Bank “identified suspects near the fence in the area of Nilin,” a Palestinian village north of Modiin, the army said.

An army jeep was called to the scene to investigate. When it arrived, the suspects “opened fire at the military force,” the IDF said.

No soldiers were injured in the shooting, nor was their vehicle damaged.

Troops searched the area and located four Palestinians suspected of having carried out the attack. They were detained for further questioning, an army spokesperson said.

NIS 100,000 for Hamas

Using “exact intelligence information,” a Border Police team located and arrested an alleged Hamas operative in possession of NIS 100,000 ($26,000) on Wednesday evening, the army said.

The funds were allegedly going to Hamas in order to finance terrorist activities.

The suspect was picked up at Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank, where he had recently “carried out a deal connected with transferring terror funds to the Hamas organization in the city of Nablus,” the army said.

Israeli Border Police confiscate NIS 100,000 ($26,000) from suspected Hamas operative at the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank on October 12, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Israeli Border Police confiscate NIS 100,000 ($26,000) from suspected Hamas operative at the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank on October 12, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

The NIS 100,000 was in Israeli shekels, Jordanian dinar, US dollars, checks and debit cards.

The suspect was handed over to the police and Shin Bet security service for interrogation.

Rock throwing outside Jerusalem

On Wednesday night, a group of Palestinians in the village of al-Za’im threw rocks at the Route 1 highway between Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim settlement, police said.

A Border Police unit that was on the scene witnessed the incident. The officers carried out a “focused operational activity” and arrested five suspects, the police said.

‘Popular terrorism’

In raids across the West Bank, the IDF, Israel Police and Border Police arrested nine Palestinian suspects on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

The suspects are believed to have been involved in so-called “popular terrorism,” a catch-all term used by the army to denote rock throwing and violent protests.

Illustrative photo of a Palestinian throwing a rock at Israeli Border Police during clashes in East Jerusalem on September 18, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)
Illustrative photo of a Palestinian throwing a rock at Israeli Border Police during clashes in East Jerusalem on September 18, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)

Three of the Palestinians were arrested in Nahalin, west of Bethlehem. Two were picked up in the Palestinian village of Tekoa, south of Bethlehem (not to be confused with the Jewish settlement of the same name).

Three more were arrested in Adna, near Hebron. The ninth was arrested in Deir Abu Mashal, west of Ramallah, the army said.

All of the suspects were handed over to the police and Shin Bet for questioning.

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