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Israeli army detains over 50 in West Bank

Nov. 22, 2012 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2012 5:24 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army launched an arrest sweep throughout the West Bank overnight Wednesday, citing "recent violent and terrorist activity."

A military statement said 55 Palestinians were seized overnight in order to "restore calm." The arrests were made as Israel agreed a truce Wednesday evening ending eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The deadly bombardment, which killed some 170 Palestinians in Gaza, prompted an outpouring of grief and anger across the West Bank. Protesters held vigils for the dead, while other rallies in villages and cities ended in violent confrontation with Israeli forces.

During the clashes, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces.

Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad al-Falah, 22, was shot four times by Israeli soldiers at a demonstration in Hebron's Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood on Tuesday.

Near Ramallah, 31-year-old police officer Rushdi Tamimi died Monday two days after he was shot in the stomach by Israeli forces at a protest in Nabi Saleh.

Hamas, Jihad, PFLP figures detained

The army said its arrest campaign Wednesday night targeted various Palestinian factions and included "senior operatives."

According to local accounts, the arrests included mid-level figures from various Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In Nilin village near Ramallah, forces detained Abed al-Qaher Srour, the head of Hamas leader Aziz Dweik's office. Dweik is the former Palestinian parliamentary speaker.

In Nablus, local Hamas officials Mustafa al-Shnar was detained in al-Maajeen and Wael al-Hashash, Imad al-Jaref, and Ahmad Ghazi in Balata refugee camp.

In Ramallah town Beit Liqya, Israeli forces detained two released prisoners affiliated to Islamic Jihad, Fouad and Jihad Assi, as well as their father. Locals said special forces and reconnaissance aircraft assisted in the detentions.

In Jenin village Arraba, soldiers seized released prisoner Jafar Ezz al-Deen, and two other Islamic Jihad affiliates Tareq Qadan, and Mohammad Shibati.

Israel's army also seized two PFLP members in Nablus, named as Shadi Reyad Awad, 24, and Aysar Saeed Awad, 22.

Cities, villages

Meanwhile, dozens of other Palestinians were held. Israeli forces detained Omar Dyab in Qalqiliya and, Faysal and Samer Sabaneh in Qabatiya, south of Jenin. Israel's army said three were detained in Qabatiya.

In Bethlehem village Tuqu, soldiers seized Saed Naef Abu Mfreh, 22, and Sami Abu Mfreh, 25. Israel's army said five had been detained in the village.

In Hebron, Mustafa and Mahmud al-Haymouni were detained in the city, and Ibrahim Fathi Mahmud Awad 22, from nearby Beit Ummar. The military said in total thirteen Palestinians in the city were detained.

An Israeli military statement added that it detained five Palestinians in Ras Karkar near Ramallah, two people in each of the towns of Birzeit, Beituniya, Abu Dis, in Nablus village Awarta and Bethlehem village Harmala.

Soldiers arrested one person in Jenin village Anin, Nablus' Deir Sharaf, Ramallah's Deir Qaddis and Qibya, and in Hebron towns Dura, al-Tabaqa and Dhahiriya, the army said.

The Israeli army vowed to "continue to maintain order ... and prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli communities." Israeli officials have described a bus bomb in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, which wounded 15 people, as a terrorist attack, but no Palestinian group has yet claimed the attack.

Around 40 percent of Palestinian men living in the occupied territories have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

There are 4,520 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails as of November 2012, according to Addameer. This figure includes 156 administrative detainees held without charge, 164 children and 10 women.

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