Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians in the West Bank

Militant group Islamic Jihad says Palestinian security forces arrested five more of their members overnight in Jenin

Palestinian security during the visit by President Mahmoud Abbas to Jenin refugee camp on July 12.  EPA
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Eleven Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces on Tuesday in several cities in the occupied West Bank, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa has said.

Israeli forces arrested six Palestinians in Ramallah, including a former prisoner, and four in Nablus, also including one former prisoner and his two sons. They also detained a Palestinian, 19, in Bethlehem.

The arrests come as dozens of Israelis stormed the compound of Al Aqsa Mosque, which is under heavy protection from the Israeli police, on Tuesday morning, according to the Islamic Waqf.

The settlers, divided into groups, “raided the holy Islamic mosque from Al Maghariba gate and took provocative tours in its compounds”, said Wafa.

The news agency said the “extremist settlers performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern part of the mosque”.

Israeli forces have recently intensified measures against Palestinians from Jerusalem seeking to enter the mosque, briefly detaining them and inspecting their identification cards.

Last week, an attack in the occupied West Bank killed 12 Palestinians and destroyed large parts of the Jenin camp, drawing condemnation regionally and internationally.

On Monday, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the militant group the Israeli military is focusing on, said Palestinian security forces detained five more of their members in Jenin overnight, underlining rifts between groups in the West Bank two weeks after Israel launched its largest raid there in years.

Israel – which says its raid was aimed at militants – has pressed the Palestinian Authority to take tougher action against Iran-backed Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and also has fighters in the West Bank.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on the reported arrests, or from the security forces of the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited governance in parts of the West Bank.

Updated: July 18, 2023, 10:51 AM