Israeli forces detain six Palestinians from West Bank


Israeli forces today detained six Palestinians, mostly in overnight raids across the West Bank, according to eyewitnesses and security sources. Israeli forces rounded up two Palestinians, in their 20s, after forcibly entering and ransacking the houses of their families in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Another was detained after being stopped at the permanently-staffed Jalameh checkpoint, northeast of Jenin. The detainee was identified as a resident of the city. Still in Jenin district, soldiers re-arrested a former prisoner after inspecting him as he was crossing the intermittently-staffed Mevo Dothan checkpoint, also known as Ya‘bad checkpoint. The former prisoner was identified as a resident of Qabatiya town. In Jerusalem, Israeli police detained another from the vicinity of Bab al-Amoud after 250,000 people gathered to attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark Laylat al-Qadr. The detainee was identified as a resident of the southern West Bank town of Halhul. In Bethlehem district, heavily-armed soldiers arrested another, in his 30s, as he was grazing his cattle in pastures belonging to the villagers of Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, and close to the nearby encroaching colonial settlement outpost of Ibei Hanahal, as confirmed by a local anti-settlement activist, Hassan Breijah. Meanwhile, a merchant from Gaza was detained as he was crossing the Erez border crossing, north of the besieged strip. Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for "wanted" Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents. These raids, which take place also in areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, are conducted with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses in keeping with its sweeping arbitrary powers. Under Israeli military law army commanders have full executive, legislative and judicial authority over 3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. Palestinians have no say in how this authority is exercised. According to the latest figures from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there are currently 4,450 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers. This number includes approximately 530 Palestinians placed under “administrative detention”, that allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing. Mass arrest of Palestinians is nothing new. According to a 2017 report by Addameer, over the past 50 years, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel, this figure is now believed to be closer to 1 million. This means that about 40% of Palestinian men and boys living under military occupation have been deprived of their freedom. Almost every Palestinian family has suffered the imprisonment of a loved one.