Border police officers in the A-Tur neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
Over 1,600 police officers from multiple units arrested 421 Palestinian suspects during far-reaching overnight raids Tuesday and Wednesday in one of the largest security crackdowns in recent history.
According to police, “Operation Green Candles” was carried out following a protracted investigation into illegal residents, weapons possession, terrorist activity, and several other criminal offenses.
“It was a massive operation carried out by Border Police, with aid from Special Patrol and Helicopter Units, that resulted in the arrests of 370 illegal workers, 38 of whom are from the Gaza Strip,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld on Thursday.
“In addition to finding illegal workers, dozens of suspects were arrested throughout the country after gas canisters converted into explosive devices, pipe bombs, petrol bombs and three other illegal weapons were seized.”
Included in the areas that were raided was a weapons factory inside a home in Abu Dis that manufactured 55 explosives made from gas canisters believed to have recently supplied a terrorist cell captured in the West Bank.
In Tamra, located in the Lower Galilee, police seized two pipe bombs, while several suspects were arrested in the southern city of Rahat for storing 16 firebombs and three air guns.
In Ra’anana two suspects from Kalkilya were arrested for breaking into homes and businesses.
Police said similar operations will continue indefinitely to stop crimes and terrorist activity before they take place.
“The Israel Police will continue to act to safeguard the security, safety and property of the normative citizens of Israel, while maintaining the rule of law everywhere and at all times,” police said in a statement.
“This operation is part of a variety of enforcement actions carried out by police officers and soldiers throughout the country every day. Beyond the value of carrying out focused enforcement, this activity also facilitates the prevention of crime and terrorist activity, even before they occur.”