Occupied West Bank faces growing Israeli aggression amid Gaza war

Two months have passed since the October 7 cross-border attack on Israel by Hamas fighters. During this period, relentless Israeli strikes and ground attacks have killed at least 17,000 Palestinians and injured more than 43,000 in the enclave.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have stepped up arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Around 7,800 people have been detained in these areas over the past two months.

Palestinian detainees are typically imprisoned over allegations of hurling stones at Israeli forces, and are frequently arrested during demonstrations or marches in Palestine, according to Raed Mohammed Mahmood Amer, president of the Palestinian Prisoners Society.

“On a daily basis, Palestinian cities, villages and camps are raided, during which dozens are arrested. The raids include sabotage operations, house searches, and detainees being assaulted during the arrest operations and transporting them to investigation and detention centres,” Amer said.

Noting that Israel had arrested a “large number of young men from the cities of the West Bank” even as the assault on Gaza continued, he said the total was “many times the number of those released” in the humanitarian pause.

A total of 2,873 are being held in administrative detention without charge or trial, usually due to suspected security concerns.

“As for the arrests in Gaza, there are a large number of people arrested by the Israeli occupation and taken to unknown places for investigation,” Amer said.

“Until now, we do not know the names and numbers due to the ongoing war,” he added, warning that their lives are in “real danger,” considering that neither the Red Cross, nor other human rights institutions are allowed to visit them.

A total of 266 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 3,365 others injured, by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank since October 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties are on the rise, with at least 308 recorded incidents over the past two months, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

As a result of these attacks carried out by settlers – who are often backed by armed Israeli soldiers – at least 143 families have been displaced, the ministry said.

Displaced Palestinian families add up to more than 1,000 people, including 388 children.

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