Over half of the Israeli occupation forces are operating in Palestinian cities across the occupied West Bank, Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced today.
He said, "We are in a tense period, and sometimes it is also painful. We are present in large-scale military activities. And 50 per cent and even more than that, of the current security forces in the IDF operate in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]. We are simply everywhere and anytime we think it's right to be there, and that's how we will continue."
"There is a need to intensify offensive and defensive efforts towards the Palestinian population and operations to prevent incitement to terrorism in social networks.
It is important to have correct readiness at all points of friction, and if the need arises, the Israeli army will expand its operations," he added.
Gantz's statement comes as the occupation authorities continue to impose a siege on the Shuafat refugee camp and the town of Anata by closing the entrances and carrying out round-the-clock raids into homes and shops, in addition to oppressing and harassing the residents, targeting them with wastewater and gas bombs.
Activists and committees in the area warned that basic food supplies would run out if the siege continues, and companies are not allowed to enter to deliver goods.
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It is also reported that the Israeli occupation forces yesterday raided and searched several mosques and dozens of shops and confiscated footage from surveillance cameras.
In an interview with the Ynet News today, Gantz also highlighted the activity of the Lions' Den, an armed Palestinian esistance group operating mainly in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, which appeared in August following the killing by Israel of Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi.
He added, "Nablus, especially the Old City, and the Jenin area are the biggest challenges. Therefore, we have strengthened the forces and the intelligence, offensive and defensive efforts around Nablus."
"We will reach them in the end. This is a group of about 30 people and we will target them. This group will come to an end and I hope as soon as possible."
More than 170 Palestinians have been killed this year, with four killed last weekend alone.
READ: Palestinian PA calls for urgent international efforts to end the siege on Shuafat camp