Israeli forces raided the Palestinian city of Jenin on Thursday in search of a suspected terrorist, touching off clashes with residents who threw rocks and firebombs at them, an Israeli security source said.
It was the second time this week that the IDF forces had entered the Jenin area to detain suspects.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers disguised as vegetable vendors raided the village of Tamoun, arresting a member of the Islamic Jihad group. Three IDF soldiers and several dozen Palestinians were injured in ensuing clashes.
In the latest raid, the soldiers were confronted by a mob of some 500 Palestinians who surrounded the initial force, an elite unit, hurling firebombs and rocks and setting tires on fire. Reinforcements were quickly sent in with crowd-control equipment, and the unit was extricated safely.
The security forces are collaborating around the clock to maintain stability and will continue making efforts to thwart terrorism, an army source told Ynet in the aftermath on Thursday.
Officials in the defense establishment have voiced concern that the rising violence could soon boil over into a third intifada. The raids this week were aimed at preventing such an eventuality by arresting terrorist operatives before they can launch an intifada, or uprising.
“There is a certain [Palestinian] awakening,” one source told AFP. “As a consequence, a decision was taken within the security establishment to increase intelligence activity and arrests among members of Hamas and other terrorist groups.
“It started in the past few days and will increase,” he added.