IDF Raid on Terrorist Funds in El Bireh Sparks Fire

RAMALLAH (AP/Reuters) -
Palestinian policemen stand guard in front of a building housing Palestinian shops after a fire which was sparked by Israeli troops, in the West Bank town of El Bireh April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Palestinian policemen stand guard in front of a burning building housing Palestinian shops, sparked by IDF troops, in El Bireh, Thursday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

The IDF says it’s investigating a fire that erupted while soldiers were raiding the offices of a money changer suspected of funding Palestinian terror groups.

The military says the money changer refused to cooperate and open a safe during the raid on Thursday morning. Soldiers then opened it using a “controlled detonation” that caused the fire.

Palestinian security says the blaze spread to nearby shops and offices and damaged 10 of them in a commercial building in the city of El Bireh.

Nael al-Azzeh, spokesman for Palestinian security, said the fire at the Al-Ajouli company was extinguished by Palestinian forces.

The fire brigade in El Bireh said no one was hurt in the blaze that spread through the three-story commercial building in the town before opening hours.

The military says the raid was an operation to confiscate terror funds, but did not elaborate which groups the money changer is suspected of funding.