Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mass arrests throughout West Bank continue as Israel continues search for missing teens

By Haley Paladino - June 18, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Hebron] [Jenin] [Nablus] [Ramallah] [IDF] [raids]

Israeli soldiers patrol during a military operation to search for three missing teenagers outside the West Bank city of Hebron, Sunday 15 June 2014. (photo credit: AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Focus of the search for three missing settler teens has bounced from Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and now Nablus, where last night 41 Palestinians were arrested. More than 200 Palestinians have been arrested since raids began early Friday morning, in addition to three serious injuries and one killed in a raid in al-Jalazone refugee camp, near Ramallah.

While Israeli forces maintain Hamas is responsible for the presumed abduction, Hamas has not claimed the act. According to the Associated Press, Hamas praised the act but did not accept responsibility. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using the opportunity to sway the opinion of the international community away from Hamas and its recent membership in the PLO. 

"Instead of abiding by his international obligation to disarm Hamas, President Abbas has chosen to make Hamas his partner," said Netenyahu, according to the Associated Press. "I beleive that the dangers of that pact should now be abundantly clear to all."

Incidentally the presumed kidnappings have coincided with the 50th day of the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike, sweeping up media attention from mass protest of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons without charges. 

In addition to capitalizing on the media frenzy to incite further anti-Hamas sentiment abroad, Israel's actions in response to the presumed abduction seem to be punitive towards Hamas and areas where Hamas is believed to have substantial support.

"We've begun an effort in which Hamas is paying a heavy price," said Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon in a press conference yesterday.

Israeli forces are prepared for a more extensive campaign than a simple search and rescue mission. According to the Jerusalem post, Netenyahu has said the search operation for the teens is "complex" and will "take time."

"We will bring about a situation in which Hamas people will become a nuisance for the Palestinian population, and that their presence in Judea and Samaria will cause harm everywhere," said Economy Minister Naftali Bennet, according to Ynet News.

Hebron, the largest city in the occupied West Bank, remains under siege for the third consecutive day. Israeli authorities are preventing all males of Hebron aged 16-50 from crossing to Jordan. Travel to Israel for Palestinians with work permits has also been frozen, according to leading Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. The group labeled Israel’s restrictions a form of "collective punishment" in a press release issued earlier today. 

Israeli forces have intensified raids in Nablus, calling it the terror capital of the West Bank. The Israeli army reported on Tuesday they found handguns, grenades, and other explosives in the Nablus raids. A paintball gun was pictured among the confiscated weapons pictured on the IDF blog, drawing ridicule from activists on Twitter. 

The three teens, Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaer, 16, and Nafrali Frenkel, 16, are all Yeshiva students in Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. They were reportedly hitchhiking the night they went missing.


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