The IDF said Tuesday that the raid in the West Bank village of Tamoun, south of Jenin, was successful, despite the riots that raged during and after the operation.
Earlier, the military said that the troops entered the village in search of two Palestinian militants. What began as a covert operation by the Mistaarvim Unit, soon became a wide-scale raid involving Shin Bet officers and auxiliary forces, and stretching across some 15 building.
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The Mistaarvim ("Arabized") Unit is an elite counter-terrorism force whose members serve in various IDF divisions.
The IDF was able to apprehended Murad Bani Odeh, a known operative of the Islamic Jihad, who was handed over to the Shin Bet for interrogation.
Clashes near Jenin (Photo: AFP)
The security forces' canvass for a second person of interest sparked violent riots that lasted several hours. The troops used crowd-control measures to contain the riot. Two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded and some eight Palestinians were injured as well.
Both the IDF and the Border Guard said the operation was successful despite the riots, stating the troops achieved their main operational objective.
The Palestinian reports saying that the initial force was comprised of soldiers disguised as market vendors provided a peek into the elite unit's modus operandi.
West Bank rioters (Photo: AFP)
The covert force's preparations for such an operation include a full disguise meant to help the soldiers blend in as locals, having real-time information as to their target's location and entering the village in broad daylight, carrying concealed weapons and radios.
Preparations for such operations always include an auxiliary force on standby, as the soldiers – whose operations usually remain covert – must leave the area immediately to avoid discovery.
Such operations entail what the IDF calls the "pressure cooker" protocol, which involved firing at the house where a wanted militant is hiding, or having military bulldozers raze it, to force a barricaded militant out.
Several were injured (Photo: AFP)
The operational premise is that once the local residents are made aware of the troops' presence – a riot will ensue.
In cases like Tuesday's raid, where the circumstances on the ground dictate tactical revisions that turn the operation into an overt one, the auxiliary force is called in to secure the scene, contain any possible riot and create a physical buffer between what is often a mob and the Mistaarvim.
The Border Guard's Mistaarvim force is deployed mostly in the IDF and the police's Judea and Samaria sector and the greater Jerusalem district.
In mid 2012, the Border Guard joined IDF troops in the southern sector, as an auxiliary force meant to assist in preventing or containing terror attacks.
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