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Soldier arrested for trying to smuggle Palestinians across Green Line

Military police stopped the Netzah Yehuda infantryman at the Rantis checkpoint.

The Rantis Crossing, located on the security barrier, west of Ramallah in Samaria. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The Rantis Crossing, located on the security barrier, west of Ramallah in Samaria. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

An IDF soldier was arrested on Saturday night for attempting to smuggle two Palestinians without entry permits into Green Line Israel.

Military Police stopped the off-duty serviceman at the Rantis checkpoint to Samaria, located east of Ben-Gurion Airport. He was allegedly transporting two Palestinian men in his car. The soldier was handed over to the Military Police’s Criminal Investigations Department for questioning.

The soldier is a member of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, a haredi unit of the Kfir Brigade operating in the Binyamin and Menashe sectors of Samaria. (The battalion was formerly known as Nahal Haredi.)

Also overnight Saturday, Israeli forces were active throughout Judea and Samaria as part of “Operation Breaking the Wave,” the counterterrorism initiative launched last year after a series of deadly attacks on Israelis.

Fighters from the IDF, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Border Police arrested seven terrorism suspects. No injuries to Israeli forces were reported.

Three of the suspects were taken into custody in Beit Sira, a village located on the Green Line, 13 miles west of Ramallah and in the assigned territory of the Binyamin Brigade—one of seven regional brigades under the IDF Central Command.

Another terrorism suspect was arrested in Turmus Ayya, 14 miles northeast of Ramallah. His car was confiscated.

One suspect was arrested in Shuyukh al-Arrub, seven miles northeast of Hebron and in the territory of the Etzion Brigade. Stones were thrown at soldiers, who responded with crowd dispersal measures.

One suspect was arrested in Hebron and another in Fawwar, both in the assigned area of the Judea Brigade. An M-16 rifle and ammunition were also confiscated in Yatma, south of Nablus and in the area of the Samaria Brigade.

During the overnight activities, a drive-by shooting attempt took place near Shavika in the territory of the Menashe Brigade, with Israeli forces responding with live fire at the vehicle.

A report was also received of gunfire near the Beit Hagai Junction in the South Hebron Hills. Several backpacks were located upon a search of the area.

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