IDF troops in the occupied West Bank. © AFP / Abbas Momani

Israeli troops have raided the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, which says the soldiers fired tear gas inside the building and locked journalists in a single room as they were looking for CCTV footage.

“Dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers” have made it inside the WAFA headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West bank on Monday, the agency said.

The IDF fired tears gas inside the building “causing suffocation and difficulty in breathing” among the staff, it added.

The journalists were ordered to stay in a single room as the Israeli troops entered the server room and went through the agency’s security footage.

They withdrew after around an hour, taking copies of videos from the CCTV cameras with them, WAFA said.

Photos | Wafa news agency being stormed by Israeli forces today in Ramallah.

— TIMES OF GAZA (@TimesofGaza) December 10, 2018

General Supervisor of the official Palestinian media, Ahmad Assaf, has condemned the raid, but assured that “it will not prevent us from doing our work toward our people and to expose the occupation crimes to the world.”

Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment when addressed by Reuters on the operation.

Employees at Wafa agency pray while IOF raid their building.


— Muhammad Smiry | Gaza (@MuhammadSmiry) December 10, 2018

However, the WAFA raid took place a day after six Israelis citizens were critically wounded in a Palestinian drive-by shooting at a bus stop outside a settlement east of Ramallah.

The IDF said earlier that it has been actively searching for suspected perpetrators in the area. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also vowed that the Jewish state will pursue the Palestinian attackers and “settle the score with them.”

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The Israeli troops have been demanding that shops, restaurants, and other businesses hand their security camera footage over in other parts of Ramallah as well.

The incursion faced backlash from the Palestinians, who were throwing stones at the soldiers. Clashes erupted at several locations, including outside the WAFA headquarters.

Israeli occupation forces clash with Palestinian civilians as the forces raid the headquarters of WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, in Ramallah, today.

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) December 10, 2018

The IDF employed teargas and stun grenades to make the crowd disperse. Two Palestinians were also injured with live fire, the local medics said.

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