Israeli forces arrest dozens of Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli forces arrest dozens of Palestinians in West Bank amid settler violence in Sheikh Jarrah
3 min read
22 June, 2021
Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank has witnessed a marked increase in recent months, with reports of assaults and property destruction occurring in what human rights experts described as an 'atmosphere of impunity'.
Israeli forces carried out a search raid in the Qarawat Bani Hassan town [Getty]

Israeli forces carried out multiple overnight raids in the early hours of Tuesday, arresting at least 25 Palestinians across the West Bank, local sources reported.

Israeli forces raided homes in the Qarawat Bani Hassan town, northwest of Salfit, ransacking dozens of houses and arresting 13 Palestinians, Wafa reported.

At least five other Palestinians were arrested in the Silwan neighbourhood, the report added.

Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the northern West Bank after breaking into their house in Jenin city.

They also detained two others in a raid that triggered confrontations in Jenin refugee camp. Others were detained in the Jenin district.

Israeli troops fired tear gas at Palestinians who attempted to block their passage, Wafa reported.

Israeli forces repeatedly carry out night raids on Palestinian homes across the West Bank, alleging to be searching for "wanted" Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

The latest wave of arrests comes after Palestinians stood up to Israeli settlers who are trying to forcefully evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli troops, attacked Palestinian families with chairs, fireworks, and pepper spray injuring at least 20 Palestinians, including children, according to the Red Crescent emergency services who treated the wounded.

An elderly Palestinian man was wounded after he was hit in the head, the Red Crescent said, adding that settlers also attacked one of its ambulances as Israeli forces sprayed skunk water on a second ambulance belonging to the service.

"Mobs of armed and masked Zionists settlers are attacking the residents of Sheikh Jarrah and the Israeli occupation forces are attacking us with batons and rubber bullets, letting the settlers purge our neighborhood with impunity," Sheikh Jarrah resident and activist Mohammed el-Kurd tweeted.

Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has increased sharply in recent months with reports of assaults and property destruction occurring in what UN human rights experts described as an "atmosphere of impunity".

In a statement issued in April, UN experts said settler violence was predominantly "ideologically motivated" and primarily designed to "intimidate and terrorize Palestinians" and take over their land.

Some 475,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank in settlements deemed illegal under international law. The West Bank is home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.

Israeli settlers have been waging a decades-long violent campaign to evict Palestinian families from the occupied West Bank, claiming religious rights over the so-called Holy Basin just outside the walls of the Old City in East Jerusalem.

The settlers also allege that Palestinian homes are built on land that was taken by Jews prior to the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation, although this is strongly rejected by human rights groups and Palestinians.

Israeli law allows Jews to claim rights to such property - a right denied to Palestinians who lost lands and homes to Jews in the same conflict.