Israeli soldiers take positions during a raid to arrest a Palestinian at the Amari Palestinian refugee camp, near Ramallah.
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In a matter of seconds, Israeli troops burst into the building, ransacking apartments in a door-to-door search for wanted Palestinian militants.When the raid was over, the apartments had been trashed, furniture destroyed and Sallaj's 30-year-old son, Ahmad, had been taken into custody.Palestinian officials say that such raids, carried out in Palestinian-controlled territory, have become a daily occurrence since a wave of violence erupted five months ago – undermining the public's trust in their own security forces and jeopardizing one of the last areas of official contact between Israel and the Palestinians. Security cooperation between the Israeli military and Palestinian security forces began following interim peace agreements reached in the 1990s that granted the Palestinians limited autonomy in 40 percent of the West Bank.Although those agreements gave Israel overall security control in the West Bank, it yielded significant day-to-day responsibilities to Palestinian forces in a joint effort to control Islamist militants and to prevent friction between Israeli troops and Palestinian civilians. The security coordination has also benefited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. A clampdown by his forces and Israeli troops has kept the rival Hamas militant group in check. But the Palestinians say Israel's recent stepped-up activity is putting them in a difficult situation. With the coordination still in place, the public widely sees the forces – and Palestinian political leaders – as essentially helping perpetuate Israel's half-century military occupation of the West Bank.
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