Eight individuals with suspected ties to terrorism were arrested in the West Bank overnight in a joint IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police operation, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced Thursday morning.
The arrests come amid high tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, with a precarious ceasefire drawn on Sunday between Israel and Islamic Jihad to stop an intense round of airstrikes and rockets, known in Israel as Operation Breaking Dawn.
Islamic Jihad has continued to insist that its demand — the freeing of a number of its prisoners from Israeli jails — has not been met, and could be grounds for another outbreak of violence. The United Nations, which has been a key player in negotiations, alongside Qatar and Egypt, sent a delegation late Wednesday night to visit its leader Bassen al-Saadi in the Ofer Prison.
Where in the West Bank did the Israeli forces operate?
The Israeli forces entered Hebron and a number of Palestinian towns in the West Bank, including a-Ram, Silwad, al-Aroub. According to Palestinian reports, the men arrested from al-Aroub are Ammar Muhammad Jawabra and Rani Muhammad Ahdeeb.
The IDF said it entered al-Azarya and Ayda, a refugee camp near Bethlehem, and arrested three people with suspected connections to terrorist activities. In al-Azarya, the Israeli forces found and confiscated illegal weapons, including a "Carlo" submachine gun and a police uniform.
Two more suspects, identified by Palestinian media as Anas Al-Ashqar, from Sidon near Tulkarm, and Jihad Muhammad Khreish from Tulkarm, were arrested. Khreish had been previously arrested.
فيديو| لحظة اعتقال قوات الاحتلال للأسير المحرر أنس الأشقر عقب اقتحام منزله في قرية صيدا شمال طولكرم. pic.twitter.com/IxELcPeFAB— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) August 11, 2022
Illegal weapons, including M-16s and two handguns, were found and confiscated from the town of Yatta, the IDF said, adding that it arrested two terror suspects from the towns of Abu Qash and al-Mughayer, near Ramallah. Palestinian media identified them as the brothers Muhammad and Mahmoud Alaa Al-Hajj Muhammad, adding that clashes erupted in the towns with the Israeli forces entered.
Palestinian reports identified the final suspect arrested as Abd Imran Nasir al-Din from Hebron.
No Israeli soldiers were injured.
IDF chief of staff visits command center, evaluates Breaking Dawn
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi visited the Home Front Command Base in Ramle on Wednesday, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced on Thursday morning. He was briefed on the operational moves taken during Operation Breaking Dawn.
Kohavi also visited the Gaza division, heads of municipalities in Gaza border communities and Southern Command Commander Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano.