Jenin Raid Ends In Violent Clashes

RAMALLAH (AP/Hamodia) —
A Palestinian man burns tires in the Palestinian city of Jenin, Tuesday. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man burns tires in the Palestinian city of Jenin, Tuesday. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)

An Israeli raid to arrest a senior Hamas operative in the Palestinian city of Jenin turned into a gun battle Monday night, leaving several wounded, including an Israeli policeman and five terrorists.

Security forces surrounded a house where the wanted man was suspected of hiding in Jenin late Monday.

Israeli officials declined to name the man, and Palestinian sources gave conflicting information. Some identified him as Majdi Abu Alhaija, but a Hamas source in Jenin said the suspect was Bassam al-Saadi, a member of the Islamic Jihad group.

After the suspect refused repeated calls for him to surrender and shot at them, they demolished the house, the military said.

Hundreds of Palestinians rioted in the area, hurling rocks and firebombs at the Israeli forces, the military said.

Israelis arrested Alhaija, his brother and his 15-year-old son, the Palestinian official said.

The fighting lasted until dawn Tuesday.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, in a speech on security issues in Tel Aviv, said a member of an Israeli special forces unit was shot and wounded, apparently by friendly fire. He was evacuated to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa where he was listed in moderate condition.

He arrived at Rambam fully conscious, and after undergoing C-T scans and other tests was taken to surgery.

As to the Hamas member they came to arrest, it was still not known as of late Tuesday whether he managed to escape or was buried under the rubble of the demolished building.

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