Israel carries out biggest Ramallah raid in years, witnesses say

Credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA

By Ali Sawafta

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 4 (Reuters) - Israeli forces swept into the Palestinians' administrative capital of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank overnight, killing a 16-year-old in a refugee camp during their biggest raid into the city in years, Palestinian sources said on Monday.

Witnesses in Ramallah said Israeli forces had driven dozens of military vehicles into the city, which is the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian health ministry said Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Mustafa Abu Shalbak while raiding Am'ari refugee camp.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA said confrontations broke out as Israeli forces stormed the camp, "during which live bullets were fired at Palestinian youths", wounding Abu Shalbak in the neck and chest.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Violence has surged across the West Bank in parallel to the Gaza war, with at least 400 Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers, and Israel regularly raiding Palestinian areas across the territory it occupied in 1967.

Israeli forces also tore up a main road in the West Bank city of Tulkarm during a raid there, witnesses said.

WAFA also reported that Israeli forces had stormed the West Bank city of Nablus, and blew up the home of a man previously accused by Israel of carrying out an attack in which a British-Israeli mother and her two daughters were killed in April in the West Bank.

The man, Moaz al-Masri, was killed by Israeli forces in Nablus last May.

Israeli forces detained at least 55 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank overnight, according to The Palestinian Prisoners Club.

(Writing by Tom Perry, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

((thomas.perry@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: thomas.perry.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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