Israeli troops arrested a former senior Palestinian Authority official in his home in Nablus early on Wednesday morning, according to Arab media reports.
In addition, 11 suspects were picked up in the Palestinian village of Tekoa for allegedly throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs, the army said.
At least 14 other Palestinian suspects were arrested overnight throughout the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
In 2012, Dweikat was named the PA’s governor of the Jenin-Tulkarem region by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Before that, he held a rank comparable to a general in the PA security forces.
— fateh voice (@fatehvoic) January 11, 2017
In Tekoa — not to be confused with the nearby Jewish settlement of the same name — IDF troops, along with officers from the Shin Bet and Border Police, were operating as part of a crackdown on so-called “popular terrorism,” a catch-all term that typically refers to throwing rocks and firebombs at cars and taking part in violent protests against security forces.
In a separate incident on Tuesday night, the IDF arrested a group of Palestinian youths who the army said had been throwing rocks at passing cars near al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem.
Surveillance footage, released by the IDF on Wednesday, shows a group of people standing near a road. The video then cuts to an army jeep pulling up to the area, and two of the people can be seen running away before IDF soldiers capture and arrest them.
According to the army, the alleged rock throwers were spotted by a soldier monitoring the surveillance cameras, who then called in the troops who made the arrest.
“Forces from the [Etzion Regional] Brigade are working day and night in order to preserve the security of the area and they will continue to thwart terrorism in the brigade’s region,” the army said in a statement.
According to police, one of the suspects picked up overnight, a 31-year-old from Qatane in the central West Bank, was arrested after a search of his home uncovered a trove of apparently stolen goods, including jewelry, military uniforms, guns and electronics.
Police told anyone who recognizes their property in the photos below to contact the Shafat police station in Jerusalem.
שווי הרכוש הגנוב מוערך במאות אלפי שקלים. חלק מהרכוש כבר הושב לבעליהם. אנו קוראים למי שמזהה את רכושו ליצור קשר עם תחנת שפט pic.twitter.com/iEPH4xMRfw
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) January 11, 2017
In the northern West Bank, troops arrested four suspects in Nur Shams, one in Balata, one in Bayt Amin and one in A-Zawiya.
In the central West Bank, two people were picked up in Ein Umm esh Sharayit and one was arrested in Bayt Rima.
And one person was arrested in the village of Dura, outside Hebron, in the southern West Bank, the army said.
According to defense officials, the West Bank has seen a sharp rise in the number of violent attacks, primarily rock-throwing incidents, over the past three weeks.
The officials said the increase is mostly due to exam season in Palestinian high schools, but they were examining the possibility that it was tied to a December 23 anti-settlement resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council.
In September, 346 rock-throwing attacks were recorded, in October 375, in November 420, and in December 344. Most of the December attacks occurred in the final week of the month. In the first week of January there were 169 recorded attacks, a pace that would lead to almost 700 attacks by the end of the month.
The rock attacks were also linked to a series of anniversaries taking place around now, including that of Fatah’s founding and first terrorist attack on January 1, 1965, and of the assassination of Yahya Ayyash, Hamas’s chief bomb maker, on January 5, 1996.
Avi Issacharoff contributed to this report.