Defense officials downplay Nablus raid

Report says Palestinian police, who claimed to have discovered 40 bombs, exaggerated figures.

Palestinian 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Palestinian 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
According to information received by the defense echelon, Palestinian police gave inaccurate details of a raid during which forces combed a West Bank city to search for weaponry, Israel Radio reported. On Saturday, Palestinian police had announced that 40 homemade bombs had been found in Nablus. The report however quoted defense officials as saying that police had confiscated only seven pipe bombs. Palestinian forces reportedly exaggerated the quantity of bombs they had uncovered during the operation. Earlier Saturday, a Palestinian police official announced that 40 homemade bombs had been found during last week's raid. Nablus police chief Ahmed Sharkawi said officers seized the homemade bombs, most of them pipe bombs, from houses in the Old City, a downtown market area ruled by terrorists. Police entered the area in coordination with gunmen who belong to a violent offshoot of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, but did not demand that they disarm, a faction leader said. It was the first time in years that police entered the neighborhood, a crowded hive of cobblestone alleys. Much of the Old City has been badly damaged by Israeli raids against Palestinian terrorists who launched many attacks on Israelis. Earlier in the week, Palestinian police battled militants loyal to Abbas in the nearby Balata refugee camp in their first major offensive against West Bank gunmen. For years police had not dared to enter the four refugee camps in and around Nablus, much as they had shied from the Old City.