Palestinians arrested in West Bank as Israel bombs Gaza
Palestinian police arrested 24 protesters in the West Bank today as Israeli forces shelled besieged Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces reportedly targeted “weapon sites” in the strip following a border protest against the siege on Saturday, which was fired by Israeli troops and injured 24.
Hamas had organized the protest to highlight the continuing impact of the Israeli-Egyptian siege on the Gaza Strip, which impoverished and imprisoned Gaza’s two million residents.
Israeli authorities say the crowds turned violent, throwing “stones and explosives” at soldiers from behind, smoke from burning tires, and that one soldier was seriously injured. Gaza’s health ministry said the youngest Palestinian with gunshot wounds was a 13-year-old girl.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel will “settle scores with those who harm our soldiers and Israeli civilians” and that the military is “ready for any scenario.”
Earlier this summer, an 11-day conflict erupted between Israel and ruling Hamas in Gaza, sparked by Israeli attempts to deport Palestinians to East Jerusalem and attacks on Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque. At least 254 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed.
But the unrest in the West Bank was directed against the Palestinian Authority, which is under fire with the death in custody of one of its critics, Nizar Banat, on June 24.
A planned protest calling for those responsible to be held to account was shut down by Palestinian security forces today and 24 of those present were arrested.
Police spokesman Louay Arzeigat issued a statement claiming that the protesters had not received a permit and “refused to sign the terms of the rally”.