Israeli raids raise tensions in a West Bank paying the human price of war

After the march through the town centre, the men dispersed: to mosques, to their homes, to the few stands that had opened to sell juice or coffee. Many were armed, cradling their M16 assault rifles and ammunition in their arms. All were young, with close-cropped hair, wearing black T-shirts and baseball caps, trainers or combat boots, and all ready to fight.

The day before, many had done exactly that. A raid by Israeli forces into Jenin, a town in the far north of the occupied West Bank, had led to a protracted and chaotic battle. When it ended, 14 were dead and many more injured. These included at least two non-combatants: a 31-year-old paramedic badly wounded when she tried to retrieve an injured militant, and a 40-year-old construction worker who was killed. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said they had detained terrorist leaders, destroyed terrorist infrastructure and seized a stash of handmade bombs.

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