RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Five hundred and sixty-six Palestinians have been detained in the last two weeks as part of a massive campaign launched by Israel in pursuit of three missing Israeli youths, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said Thursday.
The campaign, which has been the largest Israeli deployment in the West Bank since the Second Intifada, has yet to turn up any trace of the three teens, who disappeared near the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion in the occupied West Bank while hitch hiking.
Israel has accused Hamas of being behind what it calls a "kidnapping," a charge for which it has yet to present any evidence and which Hamas has vigorously denied.
The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said that on Wednesday and Thursday alone, 26 Palestinians were detained.
According to PPS's list:
- Hebron, 201 detainees.
- Nablus, 90 detainees.
- Bethlehem, 79 detainees.
- Jenin, 56 detainees.
- Ramallah, 52 detainees.
- Jerusalem, 36 detainees.
- Tulkarem, 24 detainees.
- Qalqiliya, 13 detainees.
- Tubas, seven detainees, and Salfit, seven detainees.
- Jericho, one detainee.
The detainees include 12 members of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Over the course of "Operation Brother's Keepers," as Israel has deemed the campaign, six Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli forces, while two elderly Palestinians have suffered heart attacks during army raids on their villages.
More than 120 have been wounded, and more than 1,200 homes and offices across the West Bank have been raided, including universities and publishing companies, in what rights groups have decried as "collective punishment."