Security forces raid Palestinian gun workshop, seize lathes, dozens of firearm parts

Police detain 26-year-old in Beitunia over weapons manufacturing, dealing; IDF troops also locate primed explosives in northern West Bank town

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

Israeli soldiers destroy lathes in a Palestinian gun workshop in the West Bank city of Beitunia, August 31, 2023. (Israel Police)
Israeli soldiers destroy lathes in a Palestinian gun workshop in the West Bank city of Beitunia, August 31, 2023. (Israel Police)

Israeli security forces on Thursday morning raided a Palestinian workshop in the West Bank city of Beitunia, which police said was used to manufacture firearms, arresting one suspect and seizing equipment, firearms, and dozens of weapon parts in the process.

Police said the 26-year-old Palestinian resident of Beitunia had been wanted for weapons dealing and building firearms at the workshop.

Police officers, with Israeli soldiers, raided the site early Thursday and confiscated seven lathes, six handguns, three assault rifles, dozens of weapon parts, and other military equipment, police said.

The lathes were destroyed by combat engineering troops, police said.

Police said they planned to arrest more suspects involved in operating the workshop.

During the operation early Thursday, Palestinian rioters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the forces, causing no injuries. Soldiers responded with riot dispersal means, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Weapons seized from a Palestinian gun workshop in the West Bank city of Beitunia, August 31, 2023. (Israel Police)

The IDF said troops also detained 17 wanted Palestinians during overnight raids across the West Bank, with clashes in some areas.

In the West Bank town of Zababdeh, close to Jenin, IDF troops located and destroyed dozens of primed explosive devices made out of fire extinguishers, which would have been used against forces, the military said.

A Palestinian gun workshop raided by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Beitunia, August 31, 2023. (Israel Police)

Also early Thursday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an army post near the northern West Bank settlement of Reihan, causing no injuries, the IDF said.

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

On Thursday morning, an Israeli man was killed and five others, including soldiers, were wounded in a truck-ramming terror attack near the central city of Modiin.

Late Wednesday, four soldiers were hurt after Palestinians set off a large explosive device in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli soldiers prepare to demolish explosive devices in the West Bank town of Zababdeh, August 31, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Also on Wednesday night, a Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately hurt an Israeli man at a light rail station in Jerusalem.

On Wednesday morning, a Palestinian man was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli troops after allegedly ramming them with his vehicle near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. One soldier was lightly hurt.

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

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 177 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during the same period — most of them 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.

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