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Campaign of Arrests in West Bank Targets Hamas Leaders

Campaign of Arrests in West Bank Targets Hamas Leaders

Friday, 13 December, 2019 - 09:45
Israeli soldiers take part in an operation in the West Bank City of Hebron June 20, 2014. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Israel launched a massive campaign of arrests in the West Bank, targeting a number of Hamas movement leaders.

The arrests included former Minister of Local Government Issa al-Jabari, member of the dissolved Legislative Council Muhammad Jamal al-Natsheh, and leaders of Hamas, Jawad Mahmoud Bahr al-Natsheh, Omar Qawasmi, and Mazen Jamal al-Natsheh, all of whom are released prisoners.

The Israeli army stormed several Palestinian cities, including Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron, searching homes and arresting citizens.

The army also arrested the president of the Student Council Conference at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Shatha Majid Hassan, at her home.

According to Israeli media, the Israeli security defined the arrest operation as a “preventive” measure ahead of the anniversary of the founding of Hamas, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

In a statement, Hamas said: “The occupation’s arrest of a number of the movement’s leaders and representatives in the city of Hebron confirms its continuous attempts to disrupt the internal Palestinian political life.”

“Arrest and prosecution campaigns will not prevent us from assuming our pioneering role in ... confronting the occupation’s plans,” the statement added.

The arrests came as settlers carried out a series of reprisal attacks against Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank.

Dozens of cars and a Palestinian mosque were attacked by settlers in a village north of Palestine. Residents said that they were surprised by a line of racist slogans calling for the expulsion of Arabs from the country.

The Center Against Racism underlined the spread of a dangerous hate phenomenon.

It said that this year more than 200 cars and dozens of homes were destroyed, calling for the establishment of a special investigation committee to deal with the phenomenon.

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