The West Bank town of Nablus has been raided on Monday by Israeli troops, who shut down three facilities of a Hamas-affiliated charity and a medical centre, Palestinians say.
The raid targeted al-Tadamon (Solidarity) charity, and appears to have been part of an intensified crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Since June 2006, Adli Yaish of Hamas, who is Solidarity’s chairman and mayor of Nablus, has been in an Israeli jail.
Early on Monday, dozens of jeeps and two bulldozers entered the town. They closed a girls’ school and sports club that were operated by the charity and confiscating computers, documents, cash and furniture, witnesses said.
“Now we need to look for an alternative place to educate these girls”, said Fidda Draikh, principal of the 160-student school. “We cannot leave them without a school.”
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the Palestinian reports.
There were no ties between the Hamas and the shuttered medical centre, said Dr Hafez al-Sadr, the facility’s director.
He said the unit has the same name as the charity, but is run by a different charitable organisation, which was controlled by Hamas until last year, when its chief administrator has been replaced by Mahmoud Abbas, the government president.
Israeli troops also raided Nablus offices of the Palestinian Authority (PA), even though the Jewish state is trying to negotiate a peace deal with the PA.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza agreed to a truce three weeks ago.
But the agreement has already been violated several times, when citing confrontations between Israel and Hamas in the West Bank, Gaza fighters keep on firing rockets.