The Israeli Security and the so called Civil Administration Office, which belongs to the army, closed 15 offices said to be linked to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, an Israeli source reported on Wednesday.

The closed offices belong to several welfare organizations, and are located in Ramallah, Hebron Qalqilia and Tulkarem in the West Bank.

Soldiers confiscated documents and CD’s from the raided offices.

The source claimed that closing the offices is part of an Israeli operation against the two movements for collecting money to support the families of detainees and fighters killed during the Intifada. 

Israeli soldiers arrested, on Tuesday at night, 24 residents said to be members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad; 19 residents were arrested in Ramallah, and five in Hebron, which raises the number of Palestinians arrested since Israeli started its operation “First Rain” to 400 residents.

Operation First rain was officially announced by the Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz on September 24, 2005.

Also, the Israeli security claimed that the Syrian president, Bashar Asad asked the representatives of Hamas and the Jihad in Syria to instruct their members in the occupied territories to increase their activities and operations.

Also, the Israeli radio claimed that the Palestinian Authority received an intelligence report which revealed that Asad met with leaders of the two movements two weeks ago.

Meanwhile and Israeli military source reported on Wednesday that Israel has no immediate plans to stop its air and ground military operations in the Gaza Strip.

The army shelled several targets in Gaza city earlier on Wednesday, after firing artillery shells into the area.