Israel escalates violence, arrests across the occupied West Bank

Israel escalates violence, arrests across the occupied West Bank
Hundreds have been injured in protests and individual attacks since Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa mosque on Friday.
2 min read
16 April, 2022
Widespread military operations have left hundreds injured [Getty]

Israeli forces have continued a wave of arrests and violence across the occupied West Bank on Saturday, in the wake of Friday's storming of al-Aqsa mosque which left scores of Palestinians injured and around hundreds arrested. 

Israeli soldiers shot and injured a teenage boy attempting to pass a checkpoint in south Tulkarem this morning, arrested several Palestinian men in east Ramallah, and fired tear gas at students protesting in Abu Dis.

Injuries have also been reported in Hebron and the outskirts of Nablus.  

Israeli settlers attacked and seriously injured a shepherd in the countryside outside Ramallah in another violent incident this morning, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa

Al-Aqsa guards thwarted attempts by right-wing Israeli settlers to encroach upon the al-Aqsa compound Saturday afternoon, according to reports by Palestinian outlet Shehab News.  

Large swathes of the West Bank remain under stringent lockdown, which was imposed at 4 p.m. local time since yesterday, while Israel marks the Jewish celebration of Passover.

The lockdown will continue until late on Sunday - although Israeli military officials have suggested they may extend movement restrictions in occupied territory into next week.

Hundreds injured in solidarity protests 

Solidarity protests on Friday took place in Jerusalem and across the West Bank but were met with Israeli tear gas and live rounds.

At least 224 Palestinians in several cities in the occupied territories were injured on Friday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The medical organisation also reported several attacks by Israeli forces on its ambulance crews and first responders attempting to treat wounded protesters.

Live ammunition was used to fire at an ambulance near Nablus later on Friday, according to the Red Crescent's statement. 

Attacks on protesting Palestinians were reported in Bethlehem, Kafr Qaddoum, the outskirts of al-Bireh and the centre of Hebron. 

Prisoners released

Over 100 of those arrested in Friday's violence have since been released, according to several Palestinian media outlets. 

Many of those released bore the marks of "torture and heavy blows" and were forced to sign agreements said prisoner affairs authority lawyer Jamil Saadeh speaking to Shehab news. Some prisoners were also released without their shoes, according to the media outlet.

However, the number of those originally arrested during the dawn raid has since risen to around 470.