Israeli troops raid Palestinian news agency for footage

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers raided the official Palestinian news agency on Monday in the occupied West Bank, a day after suspected Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israelis outside a nearby Jewish settlement.

Wafa, the Palestinian Authority news service, said on its website that troops entered the server room and went through recordings at its main office in West Bank city of Ramallah.

A Palestinian hurls back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
A Palestinian hurls back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Israeli soldiers walk during clashes with Palestinians in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

“They withdrew from the agency’s office after they took copies of the security camera footage,” it said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.

On Sunday, a Palestinian drive-by shooting targeted a group of Israelis at a bus stop next to a settlement, critically wounding six people, the military said.

“Our security forces … are pursuing those murderers. They will capture them. We will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law and settle the score with them,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks on Monday.

A statement from the army on Monday said it was searching nearby villages for the perpetrators. It was unclear if the Wafa raid was connected to the shooting.

Mobile phone footage on Wafa’s website showed five soldiers inside the newsroom, instructing employees to open a room as someone is heard saying “the cameras are in there.”

Israeli soldiers were also seen operating elsewhere in Ramallah on Monday, requesting businesses to hand over security camera footage.

Clashes broke out in some areas between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli soldiers firing teargas. Two Palestinians were injured by live fire, a Palestinian medical official said.

The Palestinian journalists’ union condemned the Israeli raid on Wafa as “a blatant violation committed by the occupation army against all Palestinian media.”

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