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'Dozens injured' as Israel raids West Bank town of Beita

'Dozens injured' as Israel raids West Bank town of Beita
2 min read
16 September, 2023
Israeli forces raided the town of Beita in the West Bank early on Saturday, leaving dozens injured.
Israeli forces gather at one of the entrances to Beita amid an increase in military raids on Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank [Getty]

Dozens of Palestinians were injured early on Saturday after the Israeli army raided the town of Beita in the north of the occupied West Bank, according to sources cited by Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Palestinian Red Crescent treated more than 60 residents following the raid, with most of them apparently suffering from the ill effects of large quantities of tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the town. 

Eyewitnesses told Wafa that several children, including a one-year old baby, suffered severe suffocation and required immediate medical help.

Israel forces stormed the town at approximately 1am, with residents reporting that they searched several houses, vandalising them in the process. Videos on social media appear to show Israeli forces firing gas canisters in the town indiscriminately, which led to some residents attempting to resist the raid.

Eyewitnesses report that Palestinians retaliated to the raid by throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, as well as setting fire to tires and putting up makeshift barricades in front of Israeli military vehicles.

However, Beita has been the site of numerous military raids by Israel, with its entrances having been closed and large parts of it bulldozed, making it difficult for residents to move around. Roads to the town were closed as recently as September 13, with Israeli forces hunting for a suspect who allegedly fired at an Israeli military vehicle in Huwara. 

It is not known if today's raid is related to that event and Israel has offered no explanation at the time of writing. 

The town became a symbol of Palestinian resistance in 2021 when its residents held major protests spanning over 150 days against the building of a nearby illegal Israeli settlement at Mount Sabih, with protests still sporadically erupting along with frequent assaults by extremist Israeli settlers. 

Israel has vastly ramped up the number of raids across the occupied West Bank this year, with many of them turning deadly. So far in 2023, at least 206 Palestinians have been killed due to Israeli violence across the occupied territories.