Israel Arrests Hamas Leader, Dozens of Palestinians in Overnight West Bank Raid

Raid comes amid a week of heightened tensions along Gaza border, as Israel and Palestinian factions exchange fire since Trump's declaration on Jerusalem

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef in 2015.
Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef in 2015.Credit: Majdi Mohammed / AP

Israeli security forces arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank early Wednesday, including senior Hamas leader Hassan Yousef, over suspected involvement in terror activists and in violent disturbances.

Thirty-two Palestinians were arrested in the overnight raid, which was carried out by the military, Shin Bet, Border Police and Israel police.

To really understand the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

Yousef was recently released from Israeli administrative detention and has since been "publically" involved "in promoting Hamas' goals, and is inciting to terrorism," the military said.

All those detained were taken to interrogation.

>> After a dozen Gaza rockets in a week, Israel is being backed into a corner | Analysis

Sheikh Hassan Yousef is considered one of the most prominent Hamas figures in the West Bank, and was one of the organization's founders. Yousef was imprisoned in 2006 in Israel for his involvement in terror activities.

After his release in August 2011, he was sent back to jail later that year for membership in an illegal organization. He was released again in 2014.

Yousef's son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, was an informant for the Shin Bet security service from 1997 to 2007 before seeking asylum in the United States. 

Tuesday marked the sixth consecutive day of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 36 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank on Tuesday, some shot by live fire and rubber-tipped bullets. 

Meanwhile, tensions along Israel's border with Gaza Strip flared up again early Wednesday morning, capping a week of rocket fire at Israel by terror groups and responses from the army. 

The Israeli military said it struck a Hamas military compound in Gaza early on Wednesday morning in retaliation for a rocket fired from the Strip toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

The rocket was the thirteenth fired from Gaza at Israel since Trump's announcement last week. Eight of the rockets exploded in Israeli territory.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: