Assault On 10 Cities: Israel Mounts Largest Raid On West Bank Since War's Start

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Dec 29, 2023 - 04:00 AM

Events of the last few days have made it clear that Israel is intent on widening its Gaza offensive, even after pressure from the White House and other allies to reign in operations which have killed many thousands of civilians, and PM Netanyahu himself has urged troops "do not stop" and they must fight "to the end" toward the goal of destroying Hamas.

One Gaza resident identified as Rami Abu Mosab was cited in a Wednesday CBS report as follows: "It was a night of hell. We haven't seen such bombing since the start of the war." Central and southern Gaza are still being pummeled. 

Via Reuters

Palestinian civilian deaths have continued to mount, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issuing a rare statement of regret over the December 24 attack on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, which killed an estimated 70 people.

An IDF statement to CNN said that during "operations in the Gaza Strip against Hamas terrorist targets, IAF fighter jets struck two targets adjacent to which Hamas operatives were located on December 24, 2023."

"Before the strikes were carried out, steps were taken by the IDF to mitigate harm to uninvolved civilians in the area," it added. "A preliminary investigation revealed that additional buildings located near the targets were also hit during the strikes, which likely caused unintended harm to additional uninvolved civilians." Israel says it is continuing to investigate the matter.

In another key sign that the war is indeed widening further, Israeli forces are conducing unprecedented raids in the West Bank. Al Jazeera has described the IDF's "most intense raids yet on cities in the occupied West Bank as they pressed on with one of the largest incursions in the territory since Israel’s war on Gaza began in October."

The operations included no less than ten cities

At least one person was killed after Israeli troops launched a coordinated overnight assault on 10 cities including Hebron, Halhul, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, el-Bireh, Jericho and notably the centre of Ramallah, which is the administrative headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

The raids, which continued until early on Thursday morning, targeted Palestinian money exchange outlets.

“This was a raid like we haven’t seen in the centre of Ramallah, like no other. Since October 7 we haven’t seen a raid of this size,” Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan said, reporting from near the scene on Thursday.

The headquarters of six money exchange companies were reportedly raided, apparently the result of Israeli authorities accusing these of aiding in 'terror financing' and activities. Several casualties among Palestinians have been reported.

The Palestine Monetary Authority issued a statement denouncing the raids. "The Israelis arrested a number of the owners of these companies and seized sums of money from their safes, after blowing them up." The authority further said it considers the attack "an act that violates all international norms, laws, charters and agreements, and aims to undermine confidence in the Palestinian banking and banking sector."

Regional sources say that Israeli forces seized about $2.5 million. "The Israelis say [the money exchanges] have been used by the resistance movements to finance their activities," a correspondent said.

In total at least 312 Palestinians have been killed by the military or Israeli settlers in the West Bank since the Hamas terror attack of Oct.7 - while nearly 5,000 Palestinians have been arrested amid clashes with security forces.

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Scenes like the below will likely persist on the streets of the West Bank for the coming months and foreseeable future...