Israeli security forces dealt with multiple incidents across the country on Sunday and carried out large arrest raids in the northern West Bank, targeting the areas where two Palestinian terrorists responsible for two deadly attacks came from.
During the raids, which began late Saturday night, soldiers pursued a cell of six Palestinians in the sector of the Menashe Territorial Brigade. The cell was identified after members threw a bag out of a passenger vehicle driving along the Seam Line. Troops discovered a Carlo submachine gun and a dozen bullets inside the bag.
The cell managed to evade the soldiers and escape back into the West Bank.
Security forces from the elite Egoz, Shayetet 13 and Sayeret Golani units and trackers from the Mirol Reserve Unit have carried out raids across the northern West Bank since early Sunday morning, detaining some 20 Palestinians in Jenin, Yabad, the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, Fakua, Tulkarm and other neighboring towns.
During the raids, clashes broke out with armed Palestinians who threw stones, rocks, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at security forces, who responded with live fire.
According to the IDF, eight wanted Palestinians suspected of being involved in terrorist activities were arrested in the village of Yabad, from where the terrorist who carried out the deadly attack in Bnei Brak came.
Egoz soldiers searched the village for illegal weapons and found ammunition belonging to the IDF, along with army uniforms, at the home of one of the suspects. They located an explosive device that was alleged to be used during an attack in another home.
The weapons were confiscated, and the suspects were arrested and transferred to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for further questioning.
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 11 people were wounded in the clashes, including four from live bullets. The Red Crescent said six people were wounded in Yabad, including one who sustained a gunshot wound to the back.
“We will get to wherever is needed at any time,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “At the same time, we are also operating in other enemy arenas, near and far, night and day, to strike at the roots of terrorism.”
There were no restrictions on the operations of security forces, he said, adding that “we will get to anyone who has had a direct or indirect connection to the attacks.”
Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev on Sunday told Army Radio: “We need to prepare for the option of a large-scale operation in the Jenin refugee camp. We have not yet reached that point, but we may. First we have to make the moves that we are making now.”
On Sunday night, a man was shot near Ashkelon after he attempted to steal a weapon belonging to a female soldier. The man was killed by Binyamin Brigade Commander Col. Eliav Elbaz. The man was later identified by the Israel Police as a Jewish Israeli.
Early in the evening, the IDF said soldiers had opened fire on a car in the Bayader neighborhood of Jenin where two brothers of Ra’ad Hazem, who carried out the attack in Tel Aviv, were believed to have been traveling.
Bullets struck the car, the IDF said. According to Palestinian reports, one person was wounded after being shot in the pelvis. Soldiers also shot an armed Palestinian man on a motorcycle who opened fire on them.
The IDF said it would demolish the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who killed five people in Bnei Brak on March 29. A day after the attack, soldiers mapped the home in preparation for its demolition.
Also on Sunday, an unarmed Palestinian woman was shot and killed by soldiers in the West Bank town of Husan, near Bethlehem.
The IDF said the woman, identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Ghada Ibrahim Ali al-Sabiteen, 47, was shot after she approached soldiers in a suspicious manner and refused to stop.
“The force opened fire on her as part of a suspect arrest procedure that included firing into the air. After she did not stop, the soldiers fired at her lower body,” the IDF said in a statement.
She received medical treatment at the scene before being evacuated to a hospital in Beit Jala. The Palestinian Health Ministry said was shot in her thigh and died due to loss of blood.
According to reports, Sabiteen was a widow and mother of six.
The European Union delegation to the Palestinian Authority condemned her shooting by Israeli forces.
“Horrified by the killing of a Palestinian woman by ISF near Bethlehem,” it said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences to her family. Such excessive use of lethal force against an unarmed civilian is unacceptable. This incident must be swiftly investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice.”
A few hours later, another Palestinian woman was shot by Border Police officers after she attempted to stab them at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. An officer was lightly wounded.
Tzvi Joffre and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.