Israeli forces invaded the village of Ateel near the northern West bank city of Tulkarem on Friday at 4 am in an attempt to capture a Palestinian resistance fighter with the Islamic Jihad. After failing to abduct the man, the troops seized four of his neighbors and took them to detention camps.
Army jeeps and bulldozers stormed Ateel around 4 am, according to eyewitnesses, and surrounded the house of Abd Al Mu'ti Hassan, said to be an Islamic Jihad activist. Troops fired bullets and sound bombs at the house in an attempt to force Hassan to surrender, no injuries were reported.
Hassan had been released from the Israeli military detention camps just a few months ago, local sources added. After attacking Hassan's home, Israeli soldiers searched and ransacked scores of other villagers' homes, forcing the occupants onto the street in the freezing cold, residents reported.
The Israeli forces left the village on Friday midday. Israeli army sources claimed that troops abducted two Islamic Jihad fighters during the military operation, claims that local sources in the village denied. But local sources reported that four men were taken prisoner during the operation, none of them resistance fighters.
Today's invasion of Ateel follows a harsh Israeli attack on the city of Ramallah yesterday, in which four Palestinians were killed and more than 20 were injured when a large Israeli force invaded the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon accompanied with bulldozers, a number of military vehicles and border police, and backed by Helicopters. Troops opened random gunfire and tear gas canisters forcing the residents who were doing their shopping.