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IDF troops killed a Palestinian civilian and arrested at least 17 wanted men in raids across the West Bank on Monday, despite new rules of engagement the Central Command was operating under due to the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources said soldiers opened fire at a restaurant in Tulkarm, killing a civilian and wounding two others, a wanted gunman and a teenager. The gunman, said to be the target of the operation, was captured.
Sources in the Central Command acknowledged Monday that while the cease-fire was not in effect in the West Bank, the IDF was operating with more sensitivity since it was aware that the Palestinians could breach the truce in Gaza if an operation went wrong in the West Bank.
While the operations were continuing, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh has decided that they would need to be approved by him or by Judea and Samaria Division Command Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan.
In conjunction with the Shin Bet, the IDF arrested a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Bethlehem on Monday.
Mahmoud Fanoun, 59, head of the PFLP in Bethlehem, has been wanted by Israeli security services since 2001. Deported to Jordan in the late 1980s, Fanoun returned to Israel in 1996 and is held responsible for a number of terror attacks, as well as the supplying of weapons to other terror groups in the West Bank.
He has also held diplomatic positions in the PFLP and most recently ran for the Palestinian parliament in last January's elections, but lost.