Israeli forces arrest 28 Palestinians in raids in occupied West Bank

Prisoners’ rights group says troops doled out ‘severe beatings’; one Israeli soldier killed in Jenin explosion.

The Israeli military has arrested 28 Palestinians in a series of raids across the occupied West Bank, according to a Palestinian rights group.

The overnight raids, part of Israel’s increasingly violent assault on the occupied territories, targeted the governorates of Jenin, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and el-Bireh, Nablus and Jerusalem, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society on Thursday.

Israeli forces had doled out “severe beatings” and made threats against detainees’ families, said the group, which keeps a daily tally of arrests.

Violence in the West Bank, already on the rise before Israel’s current war on Gaza erupted in October, has since escalated with frequent army raids on Palestinian groups, rampages by Jewish settlers in Palestinian villages, and deadly Palestinian street attacks.

Reporting from Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s Nour Odeh said the Israeli military had “dramatically” increased its operations, conducting about 38 raids a day, with an uptick in detentions. Home demolitions have gone up by 25 percent since last year, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians.

In Jenin, where nine Palestinians were arrested, armed confrontations broke out in the city and its refugee camp in the early hours of Thursday.

Palestinian media said Israeli forces had raided a pharmacy near Jenin Government Hospital, on the outskirts of Jenin refugee camp, transferring detainees to an unknown destination.

A resident said Israeli bulldozers destroyed infrastructure inside the camp and in the city of Jenin.

During the raid, Palestinian fighters attacked Israeli armoured vehicles with explosive devices, killing one soldier and wounding 16.

“There were two explosions. The first one caused injuries. The second, that’s where the death happened,” said Odeh.

“According to preliminary Israeli investigations, the devices were buried or located a metre and a half into the ground, so deeper than the Israeli military vehicles usually dig to be able to find those improvised devices,” she said.

The Israeli military confirmed the death. The soldier “fell during operational activity in the area of Jenin”, it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Wafa news agency reported that four Palestinians were arrested in an overnight swoop on Hebron.

Israeli forces had stormed the town of Yatta, south of the city of Hebron, arresting three people, including a female university student. Another man was arrested in the town of Dura, southwest of Hebron.

The Israeli military also arrested a man after shooting him in the foot in the Qalandiya refugee camp, while another man was taken into custody in Deir Ghassana village, northwest of Ramallah.

Since October 7, Israel has carried out a total of 9,430 arrests in the West Bank in near daily raids.

The United Nations’ human rights chief Volker Turk warned this month that the situation in the West Bank was “dramatically deteriorating”, saying earlier that people there were being “subjected to day after day of unprecedented bloodshed”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies