Settler Attacks, Arrest Campaign – Tensions Rise in Occupied West Bank

Illegal Jewish settlers escorted by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli forces have arrested 15 Palestinians, including a journalist and former detainees, across the occupied West Bank as tensions continue to escalate. 

As tensions continue to escalate in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have detained 15 more Palestinians across the territory including a journalist.

Meanwhile, a group of illegal Israeli settlers stormed a Bedouin community, stealing sheep owned by a local resident. 

Late on Saturday and early Sunday, “Israeli occupation forces arrested at least 15 citizens from the West Bank, including journalist Sami Al-Shami and former prisoners,” the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a joint statement.

The detentions took place in the governorates of Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, and Ramallah, accompanied by widespread acts of abuse, severe beatings, and threats against detainees and their families, they added.

Stealing Sheep

In the Bedouin community of Arab al-Malehat, located northwest of Jericho in the occupied West Bank, settlers stole nearly 30 sheep, after storming the area. 

The Palestinian WAFA news agency reports that Hassan Malehat, supervisor of the Baidar organization defending Bedouin rights, said that a group of settlers forcefully entered the community and stole nearly 30 sheep belonging to Suleiman Atallah Malehat.

Bedouin communities residing in the region east of the occupied West Bank heavily rely on livestock breeding and herding, reports WAFA. These activities are essential for their livelihoods in regions where Israeli restrictions hinder the development of infrastructure.

Silent ‘Genocide’: Israel’s War on Palestinian Bedouin Communities in West Bank – SPECIAL REPORT

Statistics indicate that in the past year of 2023, Israeli occupation forces and settlers seized 43 agricultural tractors, 293 vehicles, and 296 sheep in similar attacks against Bedouin communities in the region, according to WAFA. 

Military Checkpoint Shut

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces on Sunday shut down the Container military checkpoint which straddles the only road connecting the southern regions of the occupied West Bank with the central and northern regions of the territory, reports WAFA.

Palestinian security sources told WAFA that the occupation forces completely shut down the checkpoint ahead of the Palestinian vehicles, causing a traffic jam and unexpected delays.

The latest closure comes in the context of the escalating Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, which has intensified since the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip began on October 7.

‘Inflammatory, Breach of International Law’ – EU’s Borrell Slams Settler Expansion

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 400 Palestinians have since been killed and 4,400 others injured by Israeli army fire in the occupied territory.

Settlement Expansion 

On Thursday, Israel’s finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, announced plans to build 3,300 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

It reportedly puts in motion the approval process for the establishment of 2,350 housing units in the Maaleh Adumim settlement, about 300 in the Kedar settlement, and 700 units in the Efrat settlement.

The announcement follows the shooting operation on Thursday near the Maale Adumim settlement, which resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier and the wounding of at least eight others.  

Palestinian Operation in West Bank – Several Israeli Soldiers Killed, Wounded

“The serious attack on Ma’ale Adumim must have a determined security response but also a settlement response,” Smotrich wrote on X. 

Estimates indicate about 700,000 Israeli settlers live in roughly 300 illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

If the settlement project is approved, it will be the largest settlement decision since the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7, according to reports.


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