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Islamic Jihad commander among 17 Palestinians nabbed in overnight raids

Saeed Nakhleh detained in Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah; Border Police officer lightly hurt in clashes near Bethlehem

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli forces arrested a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group early Thursday morning in a refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Saeed Nakhleh, reported by Palestinian media to be the leader of Islamic Jihad in the Jalazone refugee camp, was detained during an overnight raid.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the report, saying troops detained two wanted Palestinians in Ramallah and in Jalazone, including “a senior operative belonging to the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.”

The Gaza Strip-based Islamic Jihad did not immediately comment on the arrest, though over the past year, the terror group has launched rockets at Israel in response to members being killed or arrested in the West Bank.

The IDF said that during the raids in Jalazone and Ramallah, soldiers also confiscated military equipment and ammunition.

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Palestinian rioters hurled stones, Molotov cocktails, and an explosive device at the troops, who responded with crowd dispersal means, the IDF added.

مصادر محلية: قوات الاحتلال تعتقل الأسير المحرر الشيخ سعيد نخلة بعد اقتحام منزله في مخيم الجلزون شمال رام الله. pic.twitter.com/idyINt1iIP

— شبكة قدس | الأسرى (@asranews) September 7, 2023

In a separate raid in the Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem, troops detained two wanted men, and Palestinians hurled explosive devices, stones, and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces, injuring one Border Police officer. She was taken to a hospital in good condition, the military said.

In all, 18 wanted Palestinians were detained during the overnight raids across the West Bank, the military said. They were handed over to the Shin Bet security agency for questioning.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.