Footage of a dramatic sting operation by an elite Israeli Defence Force counter-terror unit has emerged online, amid flaring tensions in Gaza and the West Bank.

Undercover soldiers, dressed in plain clothes and disguised as Palestinian stone-throwers, can be seen blending into a crowd of Arab youths throwing rocks at a checkpoint in Ramallah, on the road to Jerusalem.

Video clips show the troops – part of the ‘Duvdevan’ unit which specialises in incognito operations against militants in urban areas – turning and shooting handguns towards the crowd.

Soldiers in uniform are then seen arresting three men, and an IDF spokesman hailed the success of the operation on Twitter.

Foreign Press Branch chief Lt Colonel Peter Lerner’s post read: “In 17 seconds, IDF Duvdevan arrested 3 Palestinians who attacked the road to Jerusalem, everybody else scooted.”

The violent scenes are the latest development in an atmosphere of escalating unrest – at least four Israelis have been killed in terror attacks over the past week, with several more wounded.