BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 26 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn Wednesday.
Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied territory on a near-daily basis, with the UN recording an average of 95 weekly raids in the West Bank in 2016, and 100 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, a total of 6,500 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of January, including 300 minors. The group estimates some 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been incarcerated by Israeli at some point in their lives.
Southern West Bank
Israeli forces launched multiple raids in towns and villages across the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, detaining at least 11 Palestinians.
Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad said that several houses were raided in central Beit Ummar as well as in the al-Bayyada area of the town.
Israeli forces raided the house of 40-year-old Raed Muhammad Mahmoud Ikhlayyil and detained him. According to Awwad, Ikhlayyil was not able to move properly as he was suffering from a live gunshot wound in his pelvis that he sustained after being shot by Israeli soldiers in December at the funeral of his relative Khalid Ikhlayyil, when at least 20 other mourners were shot.
Two others were also detained after Israeli soldiers raided their homes in Beit Ummar, identified by Awwad as 19-year-old Muhammad Ghazi Issa Zaaqiq and 16-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Abdullah Awad, who were taken to the Etzion military camp in northern Beit Ummar.
Awwad added that 28 Palestinians have been detained in Beit Ummar since the beginning of 2017, including 11 who were under 18 years of age.
Meanwhile, in the town of Dura, Israeli forces detained Dafaa Hantash, as well as Yousif Shahin and Nour al-Bustanji from the Wadi al-Shajina area after raiding and searching their homes, according to local sources.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in Dura, and informed Ma’an that raids in Hebron also saw three Palestinians detained in Sair and two detained in Deir Razih.
The spokesperson also said that two Palestinians were detained in the village of Husan in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem. The Israeli army also released a statement saying that 12 "illegal" vehicles were confiscated in Husan.
Central West Bank
Local sources in the central occupied West Bank told Ma’an that Saad al-Zghayyar was detained in the Jerusalem district village of Kafr Aqab, and that Rami al-Barghouthi was detained in the Ramallah district village of Kafr Ein.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two detentions, saying that the detention in Kafr Ein targeted an alleged Hamas operative, though she did not identify him by name.
She added that elsewhere in the Ramallah district, Israeli forces also detained a Palestinian in Bilin, four in Nilin, and one in Kafr Nima.
In addition, the Israeli army said three Palestinian-owned vehicles were confiscated in Bilin, while a locally made weapon was allegedly found and confiscated in Kafr Nima.
Northern West Bank
Locals in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya said that four Palestinians were detained during a predawn raid in the village of Azzun, who were identified as Hamid Jamal Abu Haniyeh, Zayid Ali Abd al-Hafez Adwan, Firas Mahmoud Shihada Hussein, and Nidal Safwan Mansour Salim.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed four detentions in Azzun.
Locals also said that one Palestinian was detained in the village of Beit Furik in the Nablus district.