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Israeli troops raid city hall, mosques in West Bank - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NABLUS, West Bank, (Reuters) – Israeli troops raided the city hall of the West Bank town of Nablus on Wednesday, seizing computers and causing damage, Palestinian officials said.

The troops also raided six mosques and confiscated three buses from an Islamic school in town, the officials said.

An Israeli military spokesman had no immediate comment on the operations, which coincided with a stepped up campaign against organisations that Israel suspects have links to the Islamist group Hamas.

Nablus stores and businesses announced a general strike in protest against the raid.

Nablus is governed by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, but the Israeli army mounts frequent raids into the city in what the military describes as efforts to prevent attacks by militants.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the incursions were “extremely disruptive” and undermined U.S.-backed security efforts by the Palestinian Authority to establish law and order in areas under its control in the West Bank.

Acting Nablus mayor, Hafez Shahin, said: “The municipality is a service institution. I see no reason to raid the place. I see it as an attack on the Palestinian Authority.”

On Tuesday, Israeli forces raided a popular shopping mall in Nablus, ordering its closure for two years over its owner’s alleged links to the Hamas.

Hamas, which opposes Abbas’s peace talks with Israel, seized the Gaza Strip from his Fatah faction in fighting a year ago.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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