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Palestinian security forces briefly detain 2 undercover Israeli soldiers

April 15, 2017 11:23 P.M. (Updated: April 16, 2017 11:03 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian security forces briefly detained two undercover Israeli army soldiers who were conducting a military raid in the Rafidiya area of the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday evening, according to official Palestinian and Israeli sources.

The two were taken to a Palestinian police station in Nablus. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the incident to Ma'an, saying that during an Israeli army "activity," the officers were "briefly questioned by Palestinian security forces," adding that in coordination with the Israeli Civil Administration, the soldiers were returned to Israeli custody.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the two soldiers -- members of an Arabic-speaking unit of the Israeli army known as the "Mustarabin" in Arabic, who are responsible for infiltrating and carrying out detentions in Palestinian communities -- "scuffled" with Palestinian police officers for some time before they were returned to Israeli forces.

Their gear and weapons, as well as the car they were driving in, were also also reportedly returned.

The incident represented a rare standoff between Palestinian and Israeli forces, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) regularly allows Israeli forces to enter PA-controlled areas in the West Bank to conduct daily detention raids and other military operations, in contravention of the Oslo Accords.

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