Israeli military police have arrested at least 20 Palestinians over the past few days and charged them with “incitement to commit a crime.”
The arrests, carried out in various locations across the country, have sparked outrage among Palestinians, who have accused the Israeli army of systematically targeting and detaining Palestinians in violation of international law.
In an extraordinary display of the Israeli military’s unprecedented, and largely unchecked, power, Israel’s military prosecutor has ordered the arrest of dozens of Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank in violation the laws of war, including under the laws against incitement.
The charges stem from a series of protests, including one on Friday that was peaceful but resulted in the detention of five Palestinians and the beating of three others, including an 11-year-old boy.
Israel’s state media has been reporting that Israel has been conducting a campaign of “mass arrests” of Palestinians in the West Bank, which have resulted in hundreds of arrests over the last few months.
But a review of the military prosecutor’s office’s website reveals that the army has been pursuing a policy of targeting Palestinian activists and protesters in a deliberate, coordinated effort to silence them and undermine the Palestinian movement.
In the past two weeks alone, the Israeli Defense Forces have arrested dozens of Palestinians over a wide range of topics, including: The arrests of dozens in the occupied territories since the beginning of March, which were part of a broader campaign to arrest Palestinians for allegedly participating in demonstrations and calling for the release of Israeli soldiers.
The arrest of seven Palestinians in East Jerusalem over the weekend, which included the detention and subsequent beating of two others, as well as a Palestinian youth.
The arrests and the beatings of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli forces.
The detention of six Palestinian civilians in the Israeli West Bank on Saturday and Sunday, including the beating and detention of one man.
The ongoing arrest and detention in the Gaza Strip of a Palestinian man who allegedly attacked a police officer with a baseball bat, and the subsequent beating by the police officer and the detention by Israeli security forces of another man, including a pregnant woman.
The case of a 16-year old Palestinian who was arrested on Friday, charged with inciting to commit an act of violence against the police, and then later released after the incident.
The continuing arrest and detentions of a man from the Gaza City area on Sunday, who is facing the possibility of a death sentence if convicted.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said the arrests are part of the systematic persecution of Palestinians who have participated in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a broad umbrella term that includes BDS.
In addition, the group said that the arrest and arrests are in violation both of international human rights law and Israeli law.
The group also called on the international community to condemn the arrests and hold Israeli authorities accountable for the actions they have taken.
Israel has not been shy about using its armed forces to arrest, imprison and arrest Palestinians in response to the BDS campaign.
In February, Israeli military prosecutors charged a Palestinian woman in the city of Ramallah with inciting the murder of Israeli security officers.
The woman was released after posting a video on social media showing herself beating the head of an Israeli officer in the back and the other officers legs.
The Israeli army has also been accused of arresting Palestinian men for allegedly attacking Israeli police officers.
In May, the army detained Palestinian youth in the Palestinian town of al-Mughawara for allegedly throwing stones at police and using the police car to attack Israeli forces during protests.
In December, the military police arrested Palestinian teens in the western Gaza Strip after they were allegedly filmed attacking Israeli troops.
The army also arrested a 19-year age Israeli settler in the central West Bank for allegedly hurling a rock at Israeli forces, and a 15-year Palestinian resident of the southern West Bank who allegedly tried to stab a police sergeant.
Last week, the court in the southern town of Nablus sentenced a 15 year old Palestinian man to death for allegedly trying to stab an Israeli soldier.
In July, the courts in the northern West Bank district of Nabi Saleh sentenced a 16 year old settler to death in the district’s Ramallah district for allegedly attempting to stab the head off an Israeli police officer.
On Wednesday, the defense in the case of 17-year young Palestinian student Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16 and a 17-years old respectively, were sentenced to death by a court in Hebron for allegedly plotting to murder Israeli soldiers in the village of Qalqiliya.
In response to growing calls for international condemnation of Israel’s policies, the UN has sent a letter to the Israeli and Palestinian governments urging them to “exercise restraint and restraint on all fronts,” as well “stop violating the rights of Palestinians and other persons and stop the arrests, detentures, arrests, confiscations, demolitions and other acts of violence, such as the one against Abu Khdreir and the others.”