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Israel carries out raids in West Bank despite Hawara rampage

Israeli forces continue violent raids across West Bank following Hawara rampage
2 min read
04 March, 2023
Israeli forces have stormed several towns and villages on Friday and Saturday near Jenin and Nablus, occupied West Bank, despite easing military impositions on the town of Hawara, which was the site of a violent settler rampage earlier this week.
Israeli forces regularly carry out violent and often deadly incursions in the West Bank [Getty]

Israeli forces on Saturday stormed the town of Qatabiya, south of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which was followed by reported clashes with fighters affiliated with the Al-Quds Brigades.

Israel's raid on the West Bank town came days after Israeli settlers torched and carried out a rampage in the town of Hawara, which drew condemnation globally.

The Qatabiya groups, who are affiliated with the the armed branch of the Islamic Jihad movement, acted in retaliation to the incursion by the Israeli forces, sources confirmed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site.

No injuries have been reported.

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In a separate incident, Israeli forces stormed on Friday the village of Sebastia, northwest Nablus, according to mayor Mohammad Azem.

"The occupation forces stormed near the archaeological site [of Sebastia], amid clashes and heavy firing of toxic gas, which led to the injury of a number of citizens to suffocation," Azem said.

Two Palestinians - a young man and a girl - sustained injuries in the Arroub camp, north of Hebron on Friday evening, when Israeli soldiers carried out raid on the area. Dozens suffocated due to tear gas.

Kamal Odeh, secretary of the Fatah movement Hawara, confirmed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Israeli forces said they would ease their military measures imposed on Hawara, after a number of businesses re-opened following six days of closure. However, Odeh said that Israeli forces are still placing military checkpoints around entrances to the town’s neighbourhoods, despite saying they would reduce their presence there.

Last week, two Israeli settlers and an Israeli-American were killed in Hawara, which was then followed by Jewish settlers storming and torching cars and homes. One Palestinian man was killed in the violent rampage, and hundreds more were injured.

Following the rampage, far-right Israeli finance minster Bezalel Smotrich - a settler activist known for making inflammatory comments about Palestinians - called for the town to be "erased".  

Smotrich’s comments drew international condemnation from several Arab states, the EU and the United States. Israeli international law experts have called for the MK to be investigated for "inducing war crimes" on Palestinians.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 65 Palestinians so far this year, in what has been described as one of the "bloodiest periods" in recent Palestinian memory.