Dozens of suspected Hamas terrorists have been rounded up and arrested for illegally being in Israel in a shock raid on a village that borders the West Bank.
Israel’s security service, Shin Bet, worked with the border force, Magav, to round up 52 Hamas members in several locations in Barta’a, a small town that straddles both Israel and the West Bank.
Dramatic images show armed officers storming through the front door of a building on the Palestinian side of Barta’a, and climbing up stairs to get to the terrorists .
Other pictures show around a dozen Hamas members lying face-down with their hands on their heads as an armed officer stands over them.
Armed Magev and Shin Bet officers arrested 52 Hamas members in Barta’a tonight
Hamas terrorists were seen lying face-down with their hands on their heads during the raid
The terrorists were blindfolded and taken out of Barta’a by armed officers
The men were put on a bus and taken to a Shin Bet-run location to be interrogated
The group of men are then immobilised and blindfolded, and made to wait in a kneeling position in a different room.
The terrorists are then seen being marched through the streets of Barta’a, before being taken onto a bus.
The terrorists have been taken to a Shin Bet-run location for ‘further investigation’ after they were arrested and charged with not having the correct permits to be in Israel.
The information that led to the major operation came from the Shin Bet security service.
The arrests come after Hamas released disturbing new hostage videos of a 13-year-old boy and an elderly woman who were abducted when their kibbutz was stormed on October 7.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group has now shared its first ‘sign of life’ videos of each of the captives.
The hostages look gaunt and exhausted as they speak to the camera, Hannah from what appears to be a wheelchair.
Officers stormed a building in Barta’a, which straddles the border between Israel and the West Bank
The terrorists were marched through the streets of Barta’a
They were handcuffed with zipties and blindfolded before they were made to kneel
Armed officers hit several locations in the small border town
Each sharply criticises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming him for the ongoing situation. It is not clear if they are reading from a script.
The PIJ – which is allied with but separate from Hamas – shared another video claiming it is prepared to release the pair for ‘humanitarian and medical reasons’, but only if ‘appropriate measures’ are met.
Israel has condemned it as psychological warfare and refused to respond to the PIJ’s claims that it will soon release hostages.
‘This is a sign of life, and it is important,’ Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said when asked about the videos.
‘I will, for the moment, ignore the question of their release… We will be the first to update the families before anything happens.’