Israeli forces detain 20 Palestinians in West Bank raids

This latest wave of arrests raises the total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank since October 7th to over 8,975, including those currently in custody and those later released.

20 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank, according to a joint statement by Palestinian rights groups on Saturday.

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said the detentions took place in multiple cities and towns, including Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Hebron and occupied East Jerusalem.

The statement accused Israeli troops of carrying out assaults and intimidation against some of the detainees and their families during the raids.

This latest wave of arrests raises the total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank since October 7th to over 8,975, including those currently in custody and those later released.

The Palestinian Authority, which has limited control over parts of the West Bank, strongly condemned the arrests as part of Israel’s policies of occupation, oppression and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.

Israeli authorities have intensified raids and arrest operations across the West Bank in recent months, particularly in the Jenin and Nablus areas, which have emerged as flashpoints of armed Palestinian resistance.

The near-nightly raids, meant to detain Palestinian militant suspects, have often sparked violent confrontations with angry residents. Widespread civil unrest has worsened across the West Bank amid escalating tensions.

The Israeli military said it detained 20 suspects overnight for terrorist activities but did not elaborate. It maintains the raids are imperative to prevent attacks on Israeli civilians.

Palestinians view the raids and mass arrests as a brutal manifestation of Israel’s 56-year military occupation which has denied them basic civil rights and national self-determination.

Violence has soared in the West Bank over the past year, with 2023 shaping up to be the most deadly there in nearly two decades. Rising friction and the absence of peace talks have heightened fears of a wider conflict engulfing the region.