Israeli forces detained at least three Palestinians during predawn raids carried out yesterday across the occupied West Bank, including a man who had led a hunger strike in a Palestinian Authority prison last month, whose violent beating by Israeli forces during his detention was caught on video.
Israeli media reported that Israeli forces found a locally made M-16 in the town of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, and detained a youth. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed this.
The spokesperson told Ma’an that two other Palestinians were detained from the cities of Al-Bireh and Hebron. According to Israeli media, the two were transferred to Israeli intelligence for interrogation.
Meanwhile, a video was released by Israeli media, showing Israeli forces beating Haitham Siyaj, 29, who was detained in Hebron, while a woman screams in the background. Siyaj was one of six Palestinians who had declared an open hunger strike in a PA prison last month.
However, according to local Palestinians, he has been targeted by both the PA and Israel for his activism against the Israeli occupation and the PA’s security coordination with Israeli forces.
Siyaj was initially detained by Palestinian security forces on April 10, along with Basil Al-Araj, 33, and Muhammad Harb, 23, while walking near Ramallah, after the three had been reported missing by their families for ten days.
He and five other Palestinians held by the PA without charge or trial for five months launched a hunger strike for almost ten days in protest of their detentions.