Israeli forces detain dozens amid escalating conflict with Palestinian militants

Israeli forces carried out mass arrests overnight, detaining 97 Palestinians during raids across the West Bank governorates of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Salfit and Jerusalem.

In the midst of the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, tensions continue to escalate across the occupied Palestinian territories. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society reported that Israeli forces carried out mass arrests overnight, detaining 97 Palestinians during raids across the West Bank governorates of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Salfit and Jerusalem.

This brings the total number of detentions in the territory to 8,665 since the start of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza on October 7th, according to the non-governmental organization. Israel has faced widespread international condemnation for its bombardment of Gaza, which has killed at least 34,904 Palestinians and wounded 78,514 more.

The situation in Gaza itself remains dire, with the United Nations reporting that Israel’s continued closure of the Rafah border crossing is “choking off the entry of life-saving aid.” Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled Rafah as Israeli forces shell the densely populated city.

In a recent interview, U.S. President Joe Biden made his toughest comments yet criticizing Israel’s military actions. “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centres,” Biden stated, adding that he will not supply offensive weapons Israel could use for an all-out assault on Rafah.

The death toll on the Israeli side from Hamas militant attacks that sparked the conflict now stands at 1,139, with dozens still being held captive by the group. As the devastation continues, pressure mounts on both sides to find a resolution to end the cycle of violence.