IDF Raid Targeting Hamas Operative in Jenin Sparks Gunbattle, Riot

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By Paul Goldman, Cassandra Vinograd and Lawahez Jabari

An Israeli raid to arrest a Palestinian militant sparked a gunbattle that ended with a West Bank home being bulldozed, officials said.

The Israeli Defense Forces said clashes broke out during a multiagency operation to arrest a "senior Hamas operative" in the city of Jenin.

Israeli Army bulldozers demolished a building following an army operation in Jenin.ALAA BADARNEH / EPA

"After repeated calls to surrender himself to the forces, security forces demolished the suspected house in which the wanted terrorist was suspectedly hiding," the military said in a statement, adding that gunshots were reportedly fired in the vicinity.

Israeli officials did not name the target. However, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency said Israeli forces had surrounded a house belonging to the Hamas-affiliated Abu al-Hija family.

Hamas spokesman Husam Badram confirmed that Magdi Abu Hija and some of his family members were arrested following the raid. In a statement posted on Hamas’ official website, Badram praised the Hija family’s resistance to Israeli forces.

Israel's military said that the raid sparked violent rioting, with crowds hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers. One border police officer was injured, according to the military.

Six Palestinian were treated due to tear gas exposure, Jenin hospital told NBC News.

Jenin, in the northern West Bank, saw serious fighting during a Palestinian uprising about ten years ago.

Clashes broke out following an Israeli operation in Jenin on Tuesday.ALAA BADARNEH / EPA