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Israel strikes Gaza, as unrest grows in West Bank

A Palestinian was killed in an Israeli raid in the West Bank on Monday, hours after Israel carried out strikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire from the territory, its military said
A Palestinian clears debris at a petrol station following Israeli strikes in Gaza City, early on February 13, 2023. - Israel hit Gaza with air strikes in response to a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave at the weekend, the army said, as unrest persisted in the occupied West Bank. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

A Palestinian was killed in an Israeli raid in the West Bank on Monday. Israel also struck the Gaza Strip overnight in response to rocket fire from the territory. 

The Palestinian Authority reported that Ameer al-Bustami, 21, was killed and seven others were injured during an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Nablus. The PA also said that 17 Palestinians were arrested in pre-dawn raids throughout the West Bank Monday, according to the PA’s official WAFA news agency. 

Avichay Adraee, an Israel Defense Forces' spokesperson, said that Israeli forces arrested two men in Nablus — Osama Tawil and Kemal al-Jawri — who were wanted in connection to the killing of Israeli soldier Ido Baruch. The IDF arrested three other individuals as well. No Israeli soldiers were killed in the clashes, but Adraee noted “several casualties” on the Palestinian side in a series of tweets. 

Baruch was shot dead near the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron in October. A Palestinian group known as the Lions’ Den claimed credit for the attack, according to Israeli news outlets. 

The IDF also said its jets struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip early on Monday morning. The strike came in response to a Saturday rocket launch from Gaza into Israel and targeted an alleged Hamas rocket facility, the IDF reported on Twitter. 

WAFA reported that civilian homes were damaged by the strike and that there were no casualties. 

Why it matters: Deadly clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank are nothing new, but have become an almost daily occurrence in recent months. The IDF launched a new operation in the occupied Palestinian territory last year in response to an uptick in attacks within Israel. 

Violence in the area is on the rise. In late January, several Israelis were killed when a Palestinian gunmen opened fire at them outside a synagogue in Jerusalem. Last week, a Palestinian man rammed pedestrians with in a deadly vehicular attack in the city. The IDF also killed a Palestinian teen in a raid last week. 

CIA director Bill Burns warned last week that a third intifada could soon erupt in Israel and the Palestinian territories. 

Know more: Israel’s new far-right government has taken a hard-line approach to the violence so far. On Sunday, the cabinet approved the the legalization of nine settlement outposts in the West Bank in response to the Jerusalem attacks, the Times of Israel reported. 

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