Palestinian Authority troops in armored vehicles raid West Bank refugee camp

Special to WorldTribune.com

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority has conducted its largest operation against an insurgency stronghold in the northern West Bank.

The PA deployed a force of more than 600 soldiers to raid the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin.

Palestinian security forces and vehicles assemble in formation in a parking lot after arriving to the main security compound in the West Bank city of Jenin on  Oct. 2.  /AP/Mohammed Ballas
Palestinian security forces and vehicles assemble in a parking lot after arriving to the main security compound in the West Bank city of Jenin on Oct. 2. /AP/Mohammed Ballas

Officials said the special operations force, backed by armored vehicles, clashed with fighters from the ruling Fatah movement and Islamic Jihad, Middle East Newsline reported.

“There were arrests conducted in the camp,” Jenin Gov. Talal Dweikat said.

Officials said the raid, led by the U.S.-trained National Security Forces, took place on Oct. 5 after weeks of preparation. They said special forces units supported police and intelligence services in an effort to eliminate insurgency strongholds and capture organizers.

“Brigade 9 and special operation units conducted operations in villages, in Jenin refugee camp, and in some of the city of Jenin’s neighborhoods in the search for fugitives,” Dweikat said.

One of the targets of the PA operation was Islamic Jihad commander Bassam Saadi. The Israel Army, which raided Saadi’s home in September, has long sought the commander.

Jenin has been regarded as the most lawless province in the West Bank.
Officials acknowledged that militias, some of them believed aided by
security officers, were formed to help organized crime and resist PA rule.

The PA urged residents of the refugee camp not to fight security forces.
A Palestinian Legislative Council member rejected any comparison between the
PA raid and operations by the Israel Army.

“These soldiers are your brothers and dear ones,” PLC member Jamal Hweil
said. “Your enemy is the Zionist occupiers who will pay a price every time
they enter the camp.”

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