Israeli troops raid West Bank camps as end of temporary Gaza truce looms

More than 3,200 Palestinians have been detained in the occupied West Bank since October 7, advocacy group says

A damaged car in Jenin refugee camp following an overnight Israeli raid. AFP
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Israeli troops raided several camps in the occupied West Bank at the weekend as a fragile truce held in Gaza.

More than 20 Palestinians were detained in the raids, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Monday.

Israel's military confirmed the raids and the arrest of 20 people. It said 15 of those held were members of Hamas.

But Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that 56 Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank on Sunday and Monday. It said 29 were arrested in Hebron, 15 in Ramallah, six in Jenin, five in Nablus and one in Bethlehem.

The Israeli military said it carried out an operation in the Aqbat Jabr camp in Jericho, where it said its forces shot at Palestinians after being attacked with a Molotov cocktail.

Israeli special forces also stormed the Jalazone refugee camp in Ramallah, where one man was arrested, Palestine TV reported.

The raids came after Israeli forces killed at least five Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp at the weekend, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

An Israeli drone strike killed one person in Jenin late on Saturday, before four were killed as troops raided the camp, Wafa reported.

The Israeli military said it killed the five Palestinians, who it described as militants, in an operation aimed at arresting a man suspected of killing an Israeli father and son in the West Bank this year.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said one of its members, Asaad Al Damj, was among those killed.

On Sunday morning, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians – one in Jenin and the other in the village of Yatma, south of Nablus, Wafa said. A Palestinian teenager was also killed in Al Bireh, AP reported.

Two people were killed in Tulkarm on Saturday night by the Tulkarm Brigades militant group, affiliated with the Fatah political party. It said they were executed after confessing to working with Israel's Shin Bet intelligence service.

Surging violence

Violence has increased across the occupied West Bank following the outbreak of the war in Gaza. Israel had been escalating its raids in the territory before October 7.

By August, more Palestinians had already been killed in the West Bank than in any other year since 2005, with 200 Palestinians and 30 Israelis killed, the UN reported at the time.

The death toll has surged since October 7 as Israel conducts near daily raids on Palestinian towns and camps. At least 239 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7.

A further 3,260 Palestinians have been detained since the start of the war, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said. The Israeli military put the number at 2,000, saying about 1,000 of the detainees were Hamas members.

Israel has released Palestinian detainees in the West Bank each day since a four-day truce began with Hamas, in return for the Palestinian group freeing hostages in Gaza.

Forty-one Israeli and foreign hostages had been exchanged for 78 Palestinian detainees, as of Monday afternoon.

Discussions were being held on Friday whether to extend the truce.

About 15,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the October 7 attack by Hamas that killed about 1,200 people in Israel.

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