Israeli undercover raid sets off violent protests
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli undercover troops broke into a West Bank apartment building in a failed arrest raid today, igniting a violent protest and signaling that Israeli-Palestinian security coordination may be in trouble, officials said.
The raid targeted a suspected Islamic militant and marked the second time this week an army operation sparked clashes. Palestinians accused Israel of taking provocative actions in retaliation for their successful bid in November to win U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
Palestinian officials said today’s operation began when undercover troops, followed by uniformed soldiers in more than a dozen jeeps, broke into an apartment building on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Jenin. The apparent target, an activist in the militant Islamic Jihad group, was not in the area.
The Israeli military said several hundred Palestinians began throwing stones, and that some in the crowd hurled firebombs and rolled burning tires toward the soldiers. Troops fired warning shots, and also used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel pellets to quell the protest, the military said.