Israeli forces detained 597 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in August, raising the number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons to more than 7,000, the Palestinian Prisoners Club group said Saturday
The majority of the arrests took place in East Jerusalem and Hebron, which is situated in the south of the West Bank, the NGO, based in Ramallah, said in a statement.
Many were arrested during demonstrations in support of Palestinians in Gaza throughout Operation Protective Edge, the deadly 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.
Since the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the southern West Bank, at least 2,000 Palestinians have been questioned and detained, according to the NGO.
Earlier this month Israel’s Shin Bet security service said it had thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at toppling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and starting a third intifada uprising.
The Shin Bet said it arrested more than 90 Hamas operatives in May and June, confiscated dozens of weapons that had been smuggled into the West Bank, and seized more than $170,000 aimed at funding attacks. It produced photos of the confiscated weapons and cash and a flowchart of the Hamas operatives who had been questioned, and said they planned a series of massive attacks on Israeli targets, including the Temple Mount, in order to start a widespread conflagration. Indictments are expected to be filed against at least 70 of the suspects.
Abbas said later Monday that the revelation was “a grave threat to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future.”
Mitch Ginsburg and AP contributed to this report.