Over 20 Arrested as Hundreds of Israeli Officers Raid East Jerusalem

Police initiate arrest raids in Shoafat and Isawiyah in search of arms and suspected violent offenders in crackdown on 'popular terrorism.'

A Palestinian woman (L) looks at Israeli border police guarding the scene of a Palestinian stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City. September 19, 2016.
Menahem Kahana, AFP

Over 23 people were arrested early on Thursday as hundreds of Israeli officers raided East Jerusalem as part of what the police described as its ongoing battle against violent crimes and terrorism.

Officers raided the neighborhoods of Shoafat and Isawiyah in search of arms and suspected violent offenders of both criminal and nationalistic nature, a police statement said.

"Officers and Border Patrol forces conducted targeted searches which led them to confiscate illegal munitions, including parts of a Glock-type pistol, arms cartridges, holsters, clubs and different types of ammunition," the police said.

"Some 23 people were arrested for their role in rioting, popular terror, illegal possession of fire arms, drugs or property," it said.

ANALYSIS: Jerusalem's terror wave likely to get worse as tensions simmer

The raid comes after a string of terror attacks shook Israel and the West Bank this week, prompting Israel to close a number of Arab shops. The Israeli military also increased its presence in the Hebron area, deploying another battalion to the sector after an uptick in attacks in the area in recent days.

In Jerusalem this week two police officers were wounded, one seriously and one moderately, in a stabbing attack in the Old City.

On Tuesday, police arrested the owner of a houseware store in Jerusalem’s Old City where an alleged terrorist purchased the two knives he used in an attack on two members of the Border Police on Friday.

Also detained with Said Abu Sneneh, the owner of the store, were his 9-year-old son and his nephew, aged 16. The younger boy was released two hours later, while Abu Sneneh and his nephew were held overnight and released Saturday morning.