Israeli security forces have arrested dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs suspected of involvement in terrorist activity and violence against security personnel or civilians during the recent weeks of clashes.
In a joint Border Police, Israel Police and IDF operation early Sunday morning, 20 Palestinian security suspects were arrested for terror-related suspicions in raids across the West Bank, Israeli media reported.
However, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club reported that Israel arrested 58 Palestinians in the overnight raids, and said those taken into custody were former prisoners in Israel who were released under the terms of the prisoner exchange for the Hamas-held Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.
Meanwhile Monday, police arrested eight residents of the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm on suspicion that they had thrown rocks and firebombs at security forces during clashes sparked by rumors of a change in Israeli policy on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli has repeatedly denied the rumors.
According to Israel Radio, four of those arrested were minors.
In Shfaram, another Arab Israeli city, 20 West Bank Palestinians were arrested for entering Israel without a permit.
The radio station reported that since the beginning of October, Israeli security forces have arrested 180 Palestinians for entering Israel illegally. Among those arrested were individuals who allegedly provided transport, accommodation or employment to the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that some 780 Palestinians have been arrested or detained by Israeli security forces since the beginning of October.
Overnight Sunday, security forces also arrested Itiel Zuaretz, a right-wing Jewish activist, on suspicion that he had carried out hate crimes against Palestinians.
Zuaretz was arrested at his home in the illegal settlement outpost of Adei Ad in the northern West Bank by masked police officers, who presented the 27-year-old father of four with a 30-day administrative detention order signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
In an interview with Channel 2, an associate of Zuaretz called the arrest “disgraceful,” and said that a government that works against Jewish settlements in the West Bank “has no right to exist.”
A security source said Zuaretz was wanted for involvement in “violent, illegal activities that are a threat to state security,” the TV station reported.
Efforts to stem the recent surge of terror attacks against Israelis have included the deployment of hundreds of IDF troops in Jerusalem, as well as a partial lockdown on several Arab neighborhoods in the city and the demolition of terrorists’ homes within days of attacks.
On Sunday, the cabinet approved a bill expanding the rules under which police can stop and search potential suspects. Ministers voted unanimously in favor of amending the current law to allow officers to carry out body searches even without reasonable suspicion that the subject is carrying a weapon.