Israel arrests at least seven Palestinians in West Bank raids

The arrests across the occupied West Bank follow an attack by a Palestinian on Sunday that killed two Israelis.

    Israel arrests at least seven Palestinians in West Bank raids
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the attack site near the illegal settlement of Ariel [Jack Guez/Reuters]

    Israeli forces arrested at least seven Palestinians from various areas of the occupied West Bank, in multiple overnight raids across the area, Palestine's news agency (WAFA) reported on Monday.

    According to reports, three youths were arrested in Jenin, one in al-Khader town, southern Bethlehem, and another youth in the town of Az-Zawiya, western Salfit. Israeli forces also arrested a Palestinian in the town of Beit Ummar, northern Hebron, according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

    The army said the individuals were arrested for "suspected involvement in terrorist activities" and had been referred to relevant authorities for further investigation. 

    Israeli forces on Monday continued to hunt a Palestinian they said killed two people and injured a third near the illegal Jewish settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank on Sunday. 

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the attack on Monday and pledged tough action, including the demolition of the assailant's home.

    "These terrorists will not uproot us from here," he said.

    Netanyahu also pledged security forces would track down the attacker and he said the assailant's home would be demolished, a policy regularly carried out by Israel.

    He noted that the construction of 840 more homes was due to begin on Tuesday in the illegal settlement, which already has a population of nearly 20,000. 

    Sunday attack 

    Israeli security forces say Sunday's incident saw a 19-year-old Palestinian man kill Israeli soldier Gal Keidan with a knife at a junction near Ariel and steal his weapon.

    He then reportedly fired on three vehicles, hitting a 47-year-old rabbi who later died, before hijacking a car and driving to another nearby junction.

    At the second junction, the Palestinian opened fire and wounded another soldier, who was in serious condition, the army said.

    The Palestinian has been identified by Israeli authorities as Omar Amin Abu Laila from the West Bank town of Az-Zawiya.

    Israel's army said its troops were searching for him and his home had been surveyed "to examine the possibility of its demolition".

    Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the army had arrested some of Abu Laila's relatives on Monday morning.

    Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, praised the West Bank attack as a "natural response to crimes committed by the Israeli occupation".

    The attack came after two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last week in separate West Bank incidents. On Thursday, two rockets from Gaza were fired towards Tel Aviv in a rare attack into the heart of Israel that looked to set the sides into another round of escalation.

    Hamas denied Israel's accusation it was behind the rocket fire. However, Israel went on to target several sites belonging to Hamas' military wing in Gaza with about 100 missiles.

    Does anti-Israel mean anti-Semitism?

    Inside Story

    Does anti-Israel mean anti-Semitism?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies