Israel launched a wide-scale arrest campaign on Wednesday for 35 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including a deputy from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Palestinian sources said.
According to reports the Israeli army arrested 22 Palestinians in the West Bank, while Israeli police arrested 13 others from east Jerusalem, especially in the town of Issawiya.
According to the sources, army forces launched a large-scale raid, including Ramallah, Jenin, Hebron, Tubas, Nablus and Tulkarm in the West Bank, and included the storming of a number of houses.
The sources said that among the detainees, a member of the Legislative Council of the Hamas movement and one of its most prominent leaders in the West Bank, Hassan Yusuf, after breaking into his home in the town of Beitunia in Ramallah.
The first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmed Bahr, condemned in a press statement the arrest of Yusuf, accusing Israel of “targeting Palestinian democracy and violating the immunity of elected representatives.”
He called on the European and Arab parliaments, unions, parliamentary forums and human rights organizations to intervene immediately to release all Palestinian prisoners, led by MPs.
With the arrest of Yusuf, the number of reasonable Palestinian deputies in Israel rises to 14, 12 of them from Hamas, one from the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and the other from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army said that arrests in the West Bank targeted wanted Israeli security services, including the discovery of weapons during a raid on the homes of young men in Hebron.
The Israeli army conducts almost daily arrests and raids in the West Bank as part of the hunt for Palestinians it calls “wanted”, while Palestinians say it often touches civilians.
In this regard, the Committee for the Affairs of the prisoners and editors in the Palestine Liberation Organization warned of the increasing rates of arrests by the Israeli army against dozens of Palestinians.
Israel has arrested more than 230 Palestinians a week ago following the popular protests against US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
The Commission accused the Israeli authorities of exercising physical and psychological torture against detainees during their detention and interrogation, demanding that my rights and international intervention be brought to an end to these Israeli practices.