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Tamoun riot Photo: AP
Tamoun riot Photo: AP
 
 

Undercover IDF troops exposed in West Bank

Palestinians say special, undercover IDF force operating in Tamoun, near Jenin, was exposed; clashes erupt on site

Elior Levy
Latest Update: 01.01.13, 19:02 / Israel News

Raid gone wrong: Palestinian sources in the West Bank reported Tuesday that riots broke out in the West Bank village of Tamoun, south of Jenin, after an undercover IDF unit operating in the area was exposed.

 

Three soldiers sustained mild injuries and were evacuated to a nearby hospital. At least eight Palestinians were injured.

 

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The Palestinians said that the troops were disguised as vegetable vendors and and sought to seize two members of a militant group. According to the Palestinians, the troops apprehended Murad Bani Odeh, a known operative of the Islamic Jihad.

 


זירת עימות בטמון (צילום: AP)

Riots in Tamoun (Photos: AP)

 

The force was apparently part of the Mistaarvim ("Arabized") Unit – an elite counter-terrorism force whose members serve in various IDF divisions.

 

According to reports, massive IDF forces were scrambled to the scene and are using crowd-control measures to contain the riot.

 

Checkpoints and blockades have been set up in the area, which has been declared a closed military zone.

 


זירת עימות בטמון (צילום: AP)

Growing unrest 

 

According to an IDF source, the operation began at 10 am, when the force entered the village. At some point, a tactical decision was made to go from a cover operation to an overt one.

 

The troops, including Shin Bet officers and auxiliary forces, encompassed an area stretching 15 buildings.

 

The operation met a fierce response from the Palestinians, as a riot broke out and the locals began stoning the troops.  

 


צעירים מיידים אבנים בטמון (צילום: AP) 

A routine operation?

 

"This wasn’t an unusual operation," the source said. "The main person of interest was apprehended and the riots broke out only after the forces began sweeping the area, and when most of the troops were already out of the village."

 

Residents in the town of Tamoun said youths were tossing stones and bottles at Israeli troops, while the soldiers responded with what appears to be live fire. 

 

Medical sources with the Red Crescent said that 30 Palestinians were wounded in the clash, from apparent rubber-bullet impact.

 

According to the Red Crescent, 100 Palestinians suffered light injuries from inhaling tear gas.  

 

AP contributed to this report

 

 

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First Published: 01.01.13, 17:19

 

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