BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces carried out wide-reaching military raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Thursday, detaining at least 23 Palestinians over alleged security reasons, with the Israeli army saying they uncovered a Kalashnikov in the city of Yatta.
According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), five Palestinians were detained in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, identified as Mohammad Yassir Hassan Qawasmi in Hebron City, Abd al-Rahman Osama Dweik, Rafaat Muslim Abu Qbita in Yatta, as well as 58-year-old Nasri Sabarna and his 22-year-old son Rushdi in Beit Ummar.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the detention in Yatta, and said that two of the other detentions in the district were carried out in Hebron City, while another was carried out in the village of al-Dhahiriya.
Locals said Israeli forces raided the home of Abu Qbita in Yatta and detained him after searching the house and seizing a Kalashnikov rifle, which an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma'an.
Local sources said that Israeli forces raided the village of Beit Ummar in the northern region of the district and searched the house of Nasri Sabarna, a former mayor of the village.
Local activist Mohammad Ayyad Awad said that soldiers raided Sabarna’s house and held him for several hours before releasing him and detaining his 22-year-old son Rushdi Sabarna.
Israeli forces assaulted Rushdi during detention and summoned his 25-year-old brother Ahmad Sabarna for interrogation. Ahmad is a former prisoner who has spent years in Israeli jails, according to Awad.
Awad added that Israeli forces broke down the doors of the Sabarna home during the raid and attempted to assault Nasri Sabarna’s wife.
Israeli forces also raided and searched the house of Mohammad Khalil al-Namoura in the city of Dura southwest of Hebron, without detaining anyone.
In the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, PPS said that Hani Mohammad Jibreel was detained. Israeli forces also detained Ameer Jaffal from Abu Dis in the Jerusalem district.
The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the detentions in al-Bireh and Abu Dis, and informed Ma’an that another Palestinian was detained in the village of al-Khader in the southern district of Bethlehem.
In the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya Israeli forces detained 29-year-old Ali Hassan Shriem, who has spent four years in Israeli jails. The Israeli army confirmed the detention.
Also in the north, the Israeli army spokesperson said they detained three Palestinians in Tulkarem, identified by PPS as 32-year-old Hussam Khalid Tamam, 32-year-old Abd al-Fatah Fayez Qedoumi, and 22-year-old Marwan Qazouh.
Imad Abu al-Hija, Jameel Awwad, and Abdullah Salah were also detained from Jenin in the northern West Bank, according to the PPS statement. The Israeli army spokesperson informed Ma’an that a fourth detention was made in Jenin.
Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the northern Nablus district, identified as Osama Abu Hazaa, Mohammad Abu Hazaa, and Bassam al-Sharif, according to PPS.
Israeli forces conduct night raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-daily basis. According to UN documentation, the Israeli army carried out 252 military detention raids between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28.
According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.