Israeli army demolished Thursday two homes in Jericho and destroyed a wall which encircles a mosque in the city.

WAFA news agency said that soldiers detonated the homes of Abdul-Maseeh Mjarooh, and Rajeh Masoudy, after invading Al-Bayader neighborhood in the center of Jericho, after charging them with explosive.

Soldiers on the other hand, widened its operations against the homes and holy sites in the historic city.

A local source in Nablus said that soldiers demolished a wall which encircles the “News Mosque of Jericho”, located on the southern entrance of the city, and attacked the mosque causing several damages.

On the other hand, soldiers detonated the wall of Al-Bohtari Elementary School in Jericho.

Army invades Jericho, arrests twenty Palestinians

Israeli army invaded Jericho on Thursday morning, conducted vast searches in the city, and arrested twenty residents as the military operation continues.

The invasion was conducted by more than twenty military vehicles and more than forty tanks under air coverage by Apache helicopters.

A military source claimed that army is conducting the searches in order to arrested wanted activist hiding in the city. The source added that this operation was only conducted after Jericho became a “haven to the wanted Palestinians”.

According to the source, twenty Palestinians have been arrested, while soldiers continue their searches in the city, in addition to locating several combat equipment including rifles, pistols and grenades.

Residents of Jericho were surprised to see this wide scaled operation, since Jericho was relatively calm since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000.

An Israeli security source on the other hand, said that many wanted activists found refuge in the city, and claimed that despite all the “appeals”, as the source described it, to the P.A security devices to arrest and hand over the activists; it did nothing concerning this issue, according to the security source.

Jericho, since February 2004, did not witness any military operation, and was relatively calm afterwards until today.

Soldiers after invading Jericho on February, 2nd, 2004, wounded more than sixteen residents, and killed Shadi Mulhem, 25 years old after besieging and attacking a home he was hiding in.