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Israeli officer injured during gunfight in Jenin arrest raid

Aug. 31, 2015 11:56 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 1, 2015 3:49 P.M.)
(AFP/File)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- An Israeli Border Police officer was moderately injured during a gun battle that erupted late Monday during a large-scale Israeli arrest raid in the northern city of Jenin, security sources and locals said.

Palestinian security officials said that violent clashes broke out after more than 40 Israeli military vehicles raided Jenin and the refugee camp in the city.

They said that the target of the arrest raid was Bassem al-Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad official.

However, Israeli forces also surrounded a house belonging to the Abu al-Hija family, affiliated with Hamas, and clashes ensued with armed gunmen.

Majdi Abu al-Hija, his brother Alaa, his son, and other family members were reportedly detained after Israeli forces used explosive devices to destroy the gate to the home. Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers fired Energa anti-tank grenades at the home.

Israeli forces subsequently demolished the building.

Abu al-Hija's brother, Wael, told Ma'an that Israeli troops "tortured my brother before they detained him along with our two brothers. Then they demolished the house."

The Israeli army said in a press statement that the arrest raid was a joint operation carried out by the army, Israeli Border Police and Israeli intelligence, "to arrest a senior Hamas operative in Jenin."

The statement said: "During the activity, after repeated calls to surrender himself to the forces, security forces demolished the house in which the wanted terrorist was suspectedly hiding. Gunshots were reportedly fired in the vicinity of the activity."

Israeli media reported that soldiers came under heavy fire during the raid.

An Israeli Border Police officer was moderately injured, although it was not clear when or how he was wounded. Israeli new site Ynet reported that he was hit by friendly fire.

The Israeli army statement said: "A violent riot of hundreds of Palestinians erupted in the area. The crowd hurled rocks and Molotov cocktail at the forces. A border police officer was moderately injured."

During the clashes, five Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation and had to be taken to hospital for treatment, the director of the Palestinian Red Crescent service in Jenin, Mahmoud al-Saadi, told Ma'an.

He added that one of service's ambulances was not allowed to bring a patient to hospital, because the patient’s home was too close to Abu al-Hija's.

Initial reports about Palestinian deaths during the gunfight were not confirmed.

Violent clashes during overnight raids were also reported in the city of al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the central West Bank.
Comments
Tobias / USA
The eruption of a gun battle proves that this "large-scale Israeli arrest raid" was justified, since either -1- the guns have likely already been used to murder Israeli civilians, and if not -2- they would be soon !!
01/09/2015 00:24
Joe Fattal / USA
If and when Abbas decide to step down Israeli forces and Palestinians will be fighting house to house. Israel should have giving him a good deal even including East Jerusalem, he is and will be the most moderate Palestinian official that Israel should have taken advantage of.
01/09/2015 00:39
Mark of Lewiston / USA
Isn't Area A exclusively for PA security, with Israeli forces banned by the Oslo Agreements? Has Israel abrogated Oslo? or Can PA Security forces invade and shoot up places inside Israel?
01/09/2015 00:52
Mark of Lewiston / USA
Tobias - No danger to Israelis if they, and their soldiers stay out of Area A. The IDF is an army of enemy aliens in Area A.
01/09/2015 06:55
Mike Hunt / Cambodia
This is terrible!
01/09/2015 07:22
Jerusalem Undivided / Israel
Joe, do wake up. No one is going to divide Jerusalem again. The Jordanians divided Jerusalem and it will never happen again.
01/09/2015 09:39
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