JERUSALEM, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Israel security forces said Tuesday they have arrested five Palestinian suspects and seized weapon-making equipment amidst a crackdown on Palestinian weapons in the West Bank.
The overnight raid was conducted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet security service in the Hebron area.
A military spokesperson said in a statement that the suspects, residents of Hebron city and the South Hebron Hills area, were arrested for "their involvement in weapons manufacturing and trafficking."
According to the military, the suspects handed over a weapon-manufacturing machine, improvised firearms, parts of an M-16 rifle, ammunition, a pipe bomb and knives.
The forces also seized 150,000 shekels (about 39,900 U.S. dollars) worth of funds, "suspected to be traded for illegal weaponry," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the raid was "part of ongoing efforts to dismantle the weapon smuggling network" in the West Bank.
The move came a day after another overnight raid, in which soldiers shut down three unauthorized weapons manufacturing plants in the West Bank and arrested 19 Palestinians for suspected involvement in "popular terrorism."
On Aug. 24, Israeli forces raided seven Palestinian weapon mills in the Hebron and Bethlehem area, in what the military said was the largest crackdown of its kind over the last year.
The raid came amid a year-long wave of violence involving stabbing, car-ramming, and shooting attacks, which has claimed the lives of at least 230 Palestinians and 34 Israelis. Israel says the most of the Palestinians were killed amidst attacks or attempted attacks.
The Palestinians and human rights organizations say that Israel is using excessive force to quell the unrest, and in many cases, the Israeli forces kill Palestinian youths who could be stopped without using lethal force.
In several other cases, Palestinians were killed because they were mistaken to be attackers, according to Palestinians and rights groups.
Israeli leaders accuse the Palestinian National Authority of "inciting" the unrest, while the Palestinians say it is the result of 49 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, home to more than 5 million Palestinians, where they wish to establish their state.