IDF arrests senior PIJ official in Jenin; Palestinian teenager killed in raid

A Palestinian teenager was killed Monday night during an Israeli military operation in the northern West Bank city of Jenin to arrest a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative.

Palestinian media reported that Israeli troops surrounded the home of Bassem Saadi, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the West Bank, before arresting him and his son-in-law and aide, Ashraf al-Jada.

Some reports state that Saadi was also shot and injured during the incident.

A joint statement by the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police said two Palestinian terror suspects had been arrested in Jenin. The Shin Bet security agency confirmed that Saadi was the target of the arrest, with his aide also being detained.

In response, the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad announced in a statement that it was declaring a state of “vigilance” and increasing the “readiness” of its fighters following Saadi’s arrest.

Footage released by Palestinian media showed that a convoy of Israeli military vehicles was seen entering the Palestinian town. In other clips, heavy gunfire was heard.

According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, the slain teenager, identified as 17-year-old Dirar al-Kafrayni, was brought to the Jenin government hospital in critical condition, where his death was reported. declared. A second Palestinian was lightly injured, the ministry said.

A local wing of Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for firing on Israeli troops operating in the town.

The IDF and Border Police said a handgun, ammunition and cash were seized during the operation. He added that the troops returned fire to the gunmen who opened fire, hitting several of them.

No Israeli soldiers were injured in the operation, officials said.

Saadi, 61, has been imprisoned and released by Israel several times over the years.

Jenin is widely considered a hotbed of terrorist activity. Gunmen and other assailants who carried out several deadly terror attacks earlier this year came from the town and its refugee camp.

In the hours before dawn on Monday, Israeli troops raided the homes of 39 Palestinians with suspected ties to the terror group Hamas, the army said. According to the IDF, 13 wanted Palestinians were arrested during these raids.

Tensions have remained high in the West Bank as Israeli security forces have stepped up raids and arrest operations following a deadly wave of terror attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people earlier this year.

Last week, two Palestinian gunmen were killed in an Israeli military raid in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

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