Prominent writer among ten Palestinians arrested by Israel in West Bank raids

Israeli forces in the since 1967 occupied West Bank (Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 18, 2021

Israeli occupation forces arrested ten Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank last night, including prominent Palestinian writer, academic and activist, Ahmad Qatamesh, reported Wafa news agency.

Qatamesh, 70, was arrested in his home in the city of Al-Bireh. The reason for his arrest remained unclear.

Qatamesh is no stranger to Israeli detention. He was first arrested in the 1970s and jailed for four years.

In 1992, he was arrested again, and spent six years in administrative detention—the longest period that a Palestinian prisoner was in detention without trial or charge.

The rights group, Amnesty International, called Qatamesh a “prisoner of conscience” after he was arrested again in 2017 and held without trial for three months.

Moreover, Israeli forces detained two more Palestinians in the city of Ramallah last night, including a former prisoner, after breaking into and ransacking his house in the neighbourhood of Al-Tireh.

Israeli military vehicles also stormed Qabatiya town, south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, where the soldiers detained two others.

Another Palestinian was rounded up as he attempted to cross the military checkpoint of Za’atara, south of Nablus. The detainee was identified as a resident of Silat al-Harithiya village, northwest of Jenin.

In Jerusalem, police rounded up three others, after breaking into and searching their houses in the Silwan neighbourhood.

Additionally, Israeli forces rounded up two minors from Bir Ayoub and detained another Palestinian from the vicinity of Damascus Gate, also known as Bab al-Amoud.

The raids are often conducted without search warrants, in keeping with Israel’s sweeping arbitrary powers.