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West Bank: Occupation forces launch massive arrest campaign

May 19, 2020 at 1:15 am

Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian youth in West Bank on 31 May, 2014 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

The occupation forces launched raids on many areas of the West Bank and arrested a number of citizens, including a prominent Hamas leader, amid an extensive campaign which started a week ago. The raids targeted the town of Ya`bad, in Jenin, after an Israeli soldier was killed during clashes with Palestinians, who protested against a massive campaign of incursions that had taken place earlier.

The Israeli forces continue to impose severe restrictions on Ya`bad, such as closing many of the town’s main roads, launching arrest campaigns and raids on a regular basis, while intimidating the locals with police dogs, intentionally assaulting them and destroying their personal belongings.

The Israeli security campaign started at dawn last Tuesday after an Israeli soldier was killed during a military operation in the town. The soldier was hit on the head by a stone that was thrown from one of the town’s buildings. Consequently, the residence was raided dozens of times and a number of its inhabitants were arrested, including women and children.

READ: Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians in West Bank raid

Hundreds of residents of neighbouring towns participated in a march with vehicles launched from the nearby town of Araba towards Ya`bad, to express their rejection of the security measures imposed by the occupation in the area.

The march was organised by Fatah under the title “End the siege on the town of Ya`bad.” A number of the movement’s field officials participated in the demonstration to reach Al-Salamah neighbourhood, where the occupation forces continue to raid after announcing the death of one of its soldiers there.

Fatah official in the Jenin region, Atta Abu Irmaila, affirmed the movement’s solidarity with the residents of Ya`bad, who are still subjected to fierce and continuous aggressive attacks, stating: “Ya’bad, the stronghold of Al-Qassam Brigades, will not be broken and will continue to struggle as it always did since Al-Qassam’s revolution.”

Jenin governor, Major General Akram Rajoub, confirmed that the conditions of the wounded people, who were assaulted by the occupation forces in the town of Ya’bad, are stable while condemning the continuous aggression against Palestinians.

During his visit to the town, Rajoub stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas is closely following events in Ya`bad, and emphasised that the victims will receive the necessary support and supervision.

The governor of Jenin visited Adnan Hamarsheh, who is disabled and was assaulted by the occupation soldiers during a raid on his house.

Rajoub also visited the freed prisoner Suhaila Abu Bakr and her daughter Iman, as well as Attia Asfour, after the Israeli security forces detained his three sons, and listened to the locals’ testimonies about the attacks and violations they have been subjected to.

READ: Israel wants to buy Palestinians’ silence ahead of annexation

The occupation forces continued their raids and arrest campaigns against a number of citizens, unconcerned about the emergency state declared in the West Bank to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The Israeli forces arrested a citizen from the town of Musliya, south of Jenin after he was severely beaten. They also destroyed his personal belongings and furniture.

The occupation soldiers also stormed the nearby town of Qabatiya, and arrested four young men on Al-Badhan road, east of Nablus, after stopping the vehicle they were travelling in.

Shaker Amara, a prominent leader of Hamas in the West Bank, was detained by the Israeli security after storming his house in Aqabat Jabr camp in the city of Jericho, east of the West Bank.

Local sources described that the occupation forces raided the house of Amara and took him to an unknown destination. During the operation, clashes broke out between the residents of the area and the Israeli soldiers.  Hence, the locals threw stones to protest against the raid, while the security forces opened fire and shot sound and gas bombs at the demonstrators.

The Hamas leader was arrested several times in the past, as he was among the movement officials who were deported by Israel in 1992 to Marj Al-Zuhur, Lebanon.

Amara, who spent several years in the occupation prisons, was subjected to torture during investigations when he was previously arrested.

On Monday, the occupation forces arrested the freed prisoner, Abbas Shajada, 22, in the city of Bethlehem, after raiding and searching his parents’ house, in addition to storming the Handaza and Jabal Al-Mawaleh areas without reporting any arrests.

Clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and the occupation soldiers, who fired gas and sound bombs at them, which led to burning trees and plants in the surrounding lands, in addition to several suffocation cases.

In the city of Hebron, south of the West Bank, a number of citizens were suffocated after the occupation forces fired tear gas canisters at the town of Beit Ummar.

Witnesses disclosed that the Israeli soldiers stormed the town, and fired live and metal rubber-coated bullets, as well as sound and tear gas canisters at the citizens, during clashes that broke out there.

During the raid, the occupation forces arrested Mohammed Abu Maryah, 32, a freed prisoner who spent five years in Israeli prisons, and detained Mutaz Al-Owewi, 34, from the city of Hebron, Iyad Ayman Abu Alyan, 18, from the town of Yatta and Walid Hussein Mazin, 44, from Al-Arroub camp, after storming and searching their homes.

More demolitions - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

More demolitions – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

On Monday, the Israeli forces also arrested a freed prisoner from the town of Abu Dis, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. Local sources confirmed that a special Israeli force wearing civilian clothes surrounded the house of the freed prisoner Hudhayfah Badr Halabiya ​​in the Batin Al-Zeit neighbourhood, then stormed the residence, searched it, and tampered with Halabiya’s personal belongings.

The occupation forces released Halabiya in December after he had entered an open hunger strike for 67 days, which ended with setting a time limit for the period of his administrative detention.

The Israeli security forces also arrested Halabiya on 10 June 2018, and issued three administrative detention orders against him.

In occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli forces arrested brothers Ahmed and Youssef Abu Al-Hawa from the town of Al-Tur, and brothers Mahmoud and Abd Obaid from the town of Al-Issawiya, after severely assaulting them.

It is worth mentioning that on Sunday evening a group of settlers attacked a citizen while passing near Khirbet Abu Falah and the village of Al-Mughayyir, north of Ramallah, which resulted in destroying his vehicle.

In light of the ongoing settlement projects, the occupation forces bulldozed around 15 dunams planted with olive trees in the lands between the villages of Kafa and Shufa, southeast of Tulkarm, north of the West Bank, using more than ten bulldozers, tightly guarded by Israeli soldiers, in the presence of a group of armed settlers.

The occupation state claimed that this land was levelled due to its proximity to the Avnei Hefetz settlement. Thus, the bulldozers had blocked the roads leading to the area a month and a half ago, preventing farmers from reaching their land to work.