Middle East

IDF clashes with gunmen in Jenin, arrests suspect planning ‘significant’ attacks

Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen by the West Bank city of Jenin on Monday morning, during a raid to arrest a wanted man accused of planning “significant” terror attacks, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the suspect, Ratib al-Bali, previously jailed for terror offenses, was involved in numerous shootings in recent weeks, and was “advancing significant terror attacks.”

Troops had surrounded al-Bali’s home in the village of Burqin, near Jenin, as clashes broke out. A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said its members opened fire at troops as they operated in the city and near al-Bali’s home.

According to the IDF and footage of the incident, al-Bali surrendered to troops at his home and was arrested.

The IDF said gunmen opened fire and hurled explosive devices at troops, who responded with gunfire.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said one person was critically hurt in the clashes, and three others were moderately or lightly wounded.

In footage published by Palestinian media outlets, gunfire can be heard in the Jenin area.

A small explosion, reportedly an improvised bomb used against Israeli troops, was also seen in one clip.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt in the clashes, the IDF said.

This spring, the military launched a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 29 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — though not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In raids across the West Bank early Monday, aside from al-Bali, another eight wanted Palestinians were arrested, the IDF said.

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