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Israeli forces arrest Fatah-linked terror operative in Jenin refugee camp

Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Wednesday morning, for the second time in days, arresting a suspected terror operative partially associated with the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party.

Muhammad Naghnaghiya, a veteran member of the mostly dormant Tanzim terror group, was detained for allegedly aiding in executing a series of shooting attacks in the West Bank in recent months, according to the military.

Members of the Border Police’s undercover West Bank unit converged on a building in the Jenin refugee camp and nabbed Naghnaghiya, after receiving intelligence on his whereabouts from the Shin Bet security agency.

The Israel Defense Forces said that during the raid, Palestinian gunmen shot at the forces, who returned fire.

Naghnaghiya was handed over to the Shin Bet for further questioning.

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Tanzim, an armed militia founded in 1995 and loosely affiliated with the PA’s ruling Fatah party, was a key player in violence at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000.

Palestinian media on Wednesday published a photo from the early 2000s showing Naghnaghiya with notorious terror commander Zakaria Zubeidi in the Jenin refugee camp.

#صورة سابقة للقيادي في كتائب شهداء الأقصى محمد نغنيغة مع الأسير زكريا الزبيدي في مخيم #جنين، يذكر أن محمد تم إعتقاله قبل قليل من قبل قوة خاصة تتبع لجيش الاحتلال توغلت في مخيم جنين. pic.twitter.com/oo8532NHRf

— Newpress | نيو برس (@NewpressPs) September 6, 2023

Zubeidi, a senior commander in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was released from Israeli prison in a 2007 amnesty deal, but was rearrested a decade later. Exactly two years ago, on September 6, 2021, while still awaiting trial, Zubeidi fled Gilboa Prison — along with five other high-risk Palestinian security prisoners — in an escape that transfixed Israelis and Palestinians for weeks. They were all later rearrested.

The raid on Wednesday morning came less than two days after Israeli forces entered the Jenin refugee camp to arrest three members of the Hamas terror group.

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.

The IDF said Wednesday morning that troops detained nine wanted Palestinians during overnight raids elsewhere in the West Bank, with clashes in some areas.

Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the beginning of the year have left 27 civilians and three soldiers dead, and several others seriously wounded.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 180 West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians have been killed during the same period — the vast majority of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.