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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Israel conducts mass arrests of Palestinians

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Israel continues to provoke Palestinians despite the Qatar and Egypt-brokered Gaza ceasefire, which came into effect on Friday, 21 May at 02:00.

Palestinian academics, writers and activists have warned of a new wave of Israeli mass arrests of Palestinians in the next 48 hours, despite international calls for calm.

“Israel has declared war against Palestinians who dare to resist its colonial project and demand freedom. Today, the Israeli police announced their intent to arrest over 500 Palestinian citizens of Israel over the next 48 hours,” tweeted Dr Yara Hawari, Palestinian academic, writer and Senior Policy Analyst at Al Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Palestinians on social media have warned that the wave of mass arrests is part of an Israeli ‘law and order campaign’ that aims to intimidate those protesting the unlawful actions of the occupation. They claim the campaign is specifically targeting minors and working class youth, among others.

Read also: Qatar’s Amir says committed to halting Israeli attacks on Palestinians

According to Hawari, over 1,400 Palestinians have been arrested since 9 May alone, of which only 200 will be charged.

The Israeli occupation’s actions appear to be disrupting peace among Palestinians after the beginning of the Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire on Friday, which stopped the 11-day war on Gaza. A total of 248 Palestinians were killed during the attacks, including more than 60 children.

Only hours after the ceasefire was implemented, occupying Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque, firing rubber-coated steel bullets at worshippers who were performing Friday prayers, as well as unarmed people celebrating the truce.

Israel has been accused of unlawfully blocking entry for Palestinians to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem while allowing Jewish settlers to roam freely, placing cement barricades at its entrances even banning members of the press from entering. 

The latest Israeli aggression started in Sheikh Jarrah after Palestinians protested attempts to ethnically cleanse the East Jerusalem neighbourhood from its indigenous Arab population to make way for Jewish settlers. 

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