Israeli army arrests 5 Palestinians, seizes weapons in overnight raid

2016-08-18 09:39:27 GMT2016-08-18 17:39:27(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Israel's security forces arrested five Palestinians and seized weapons in an overnight raid in the West Bank, the Israeli army said Thursday.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said in a statement that the five Palestinians were wanted on various "terrorism-related" charges, and that some weapons, including a homemade grenade, a shotgun-type weapon and ammunition, were also found in the raid.

The weapons and ammunition were discovered in the houses of the suspects in the Palestinian village of Jaba, north of Hebron, and in the Palestinian villages of Bani Naim and Kifl Haris near Nablus.

The raids and operations are part of efforts by Israeli security forces to curb an ongoing wave of violence which started in October, and has since claimed the lives of 34 Israelis and 220 Palestinians.

While the attacks against Israelis became less frequent in recent months, sporadic attacks still take place, specifically in the West Bank and East Jerusalem area.

Israeli security forces arrested Hussein Abu-Kweik, a high-ranking official of the Hamas Islamist movement, on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday in a similar West Bank raid.

He was arrested by Israeli security forces near Ramallah for alleged "involvement in security related activities" as well as "presenting a threat to the security of the area," the Shin Bet security agency said.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said a Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Abu Hashash, was killed and dozens more were injured in clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians at the al-Fawar refugee camp near Hebron, following an overnight Israeli operation.

The IDF did not confirm or deny the report.

Israeli leaders accuse the Palestinian National Authority of inciting violence, whereas the Palestinians say it is the result of 49 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip territories where they wish to establish their own state.