Israeli forces detain at least 26 Palestinians in West Bank raids

Bulldozer used as security forces storm Askar refugee camp

A damaged car at the Jenin refugee camp after an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. EPA
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Israeli forces entered Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank early on Tuesday, raiding homes and detaining at least 26 people, Palestinian state news agency Wafa reported.

In Jenin, six Palestinians were detained after Israeli troops searched their homes and “destroyed contents”, Wafa reported, citing security sources.

Two were arrested in Qalqilya and 16 in Hebron, Wafa reported.

Several roads and entrances into West Bank cities, villages and camps were closed off during the operation on Tuesday.

A Palestinian Red Crescent worker was injured by “shrapnel from live bullets” in Askar Camp, east of Nablus, as Israeli troops detained more Palestinians, Wafa reported.

Israeli troops, accompanied by a military bulldozer, stormed Askar Camp at dawn, firing live bullets, Wafa reported.

Israel has intensified its operations in the West Bank in recent months, as the war in Gaza has raged on.

More than 24,000 Gazans have been killed since the beginning of hostilities, sparked by Hamas's attacks on October 7, which killed about 1,200 in southern Israel.

Local authorities say more than 50 rockets were fired towards the southern Israeli city of Netivot from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

No injuries were reported but the barrage was the largest launched at Israel in weeks.

It comes a day after Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the “intensive phase” of Israel’s fighting in northern Gaza had ended.

Gaza's Health Ministry said 158 people were killed in overnight Israeli strikes and another 320 injured, taking the total number of injured in the enclave to 61,154 since the war started.

Most of the dead were women and children, the ministry added.

Communication cuts continued for a fifth day.

Zahra Abu Dabaa, a doctor at Al Nasser Medical Complex's emergency department, told The National she had been struggling to reach her family, who live in Rafah at Gaza's border with Egypt.

“Sometimes I don't know if something happened to them and as a doctor, not being able to help them, it's really hard,” she said.

Dr Abu Dabaa has been working round the clock, as a large number of patients arrive at the hospital every day.

She said she had “collapsed” due to exhaustion and pressure, as concern for her family mounted.

Updated: January 16, 2024, 11:55 AM