RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel has dropped hundreds of anti-Hamas lollipops in two of the West Bank's largest cities, in a renewed attempt to incite Palestinian popular opinion against the Islamist political group.
Palestinian residents of Nablus and Ramallah noticed on Sunday morning that hundreds of lollipops had been dropped in the streets and alleyways of the city, decorated with the phrase "Ramadan Kareem … Some sweets, after Hamas has made life in the West Bank bitter."
Witnesses in Nablus told Ma'an that they saw Israeli soldiers throwing the lollipops in the streets.
The Israel military has deployed heavily across the West Bank in the last two weeks, as part of an operation to find three missing Israeli teens that has led to the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians, injured more than 130, and resulted in the detention of nearly 600 after more than 1,350 military raids.
Onlookers Ma'an spoke to believed that the passing out of the lollipops is part of a "psychological warfare" by Israeli occupation forces to incite the Palestinian people against Hamas, which it accuses of having "kidnapped" the three Israeli teens.
Others, however, said that they thought the "strange behavior" indicates that the Israeli military operation in the West Bank has failed to find a clue about the missing Israeli teenagers, and are hoping to reach out for potential information.
The lollipops are not the first anti-Hamas "gifts" Israeli forces have passed out in the West Bank in recent days.
During a military raid in Nablus on Thursday, Israeli forces dropped match boxes in the streets with a phrase in colloquial Arabic reading "Beware! Hamas is inflaming the West Bank."