NABLUS - Troops searching a West Bank house for a wanted Hamas gunman found his sister hiding his gun in her underpants, the army said, adding that it would consider renewing strip-searches among Palestinian women when searching and screening for potential terrorists.
The soldiers in the Balata refugee camp, a terrorist hotbed, found the gunman inside his house and ordered him to surrender his weapon. He refused, saying he didn't have it. After questioning, they found the man's sister had hidden it her underwear.
Troops then arrested the Hamas terrorist. They also found a gun holster and bullets inside the building.
An army spokesman said the incident raises serious questions about the need to search Palestinian women, mainly at checkpoints.
“Until now we have gone easy on women,” a spokesman said. “Perhaps we need to reconsider that policy.”
Armed 15-year-old arrested
Earlier this week, a 15-year-old Palestinian was arrested near Nablus after being discovered wearing five pipe bombs strapped to his body. The boy aroused suspicions by wearing a heavy jacket on a hot day.
Despite the incidents, the IDF removed several roadblocks around the West Bank, including some around the cities of Nablus and Ramallah.
Since the beginning of March, 17 checkpoints have been removed. IDF sources say the easing of restrictions are intended to improve the quality of life for Palestinians, adding that further gestures are dependent on continued quiet in the West Bank.