IDF soldiers come under fire in Qalandia

Shots were fired at IDF troops overnight Monday in the West Bank town of Qalandia north of Jerusalem.

Soldiers fired back at two men who shot at them during security operations in the town. No injuries were reported on either side.

The suspects have been transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.

Qalandia has been a flashpoint during the recent violence with a number of attackers emanating from the town.

Last week two Palestinian’s from Qalandia carried out a stabbing attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City in which two Israeli’s were killed. The attackers, both shot at killed by security forces during the incident, were identified Anan Abu Habsah and Issa Assaf.

On December 18 a Palestinian was shot and wounded as he tried to drive his car into security forces at the Qalandia crossing near Ramallah. No Israelis were hurt in the incident.

Separately, a pipe bomb was hurled at soldiers who were operating in the West Bank town of Jenin overnight Monday. No injuries were reported in that incident either.

The army has been carrying out nightly raids in West Bank towns and villages as a wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks continues across the country. Over 20 Israelis have been killed in such attacks since October.

The IDF said eight Palestinian suspects were arrested overnight Monday, including one man described as a Hamas member. One of the detainees is suspected of direct involvement in recent attacks on civilians and security forces, the army said.

The suspects were transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.

The army also prepared for demolition the homes of two Palestinian men who carried out a terror attack earlier this week.

IDF military engineers conducted a pre-demolition survey at the homes of Palestinian attackers Mahmoud and Noor Sabana in the West Bank village of Kabatya. The two were shot dead Sunday during a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier in a village south of Nablus.

One soldier suffered moderate stab wounds during the attack and another other sustained light injuries from gunfire directed at the attackers, paramedics and the army said.

The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by nongovernmental groups, but officials have defended its use as a deterrent against future attacks.

Critics claim that in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to launch attacks themselves.

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