IDF arrests 20 Palestinians over clash with settler group in West Bank

Israel arrests 20 Palestinians over fracas with hiking settlers

Israel arrests 20 Palestinians over fracas with hiking settlers

Israeli forces detained on Thursday at least 36 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 21 of them from the Nablus area village of Qusra, according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society.

Last Thursday, two Israeli hikers were wounded and a Palestinian was shot and killed when a group of Israelis came under attack by a violent Palestinian mob near Qusra, in Samaria.

The security forces will continue to act to protect the security of civilians in the area, the army said.

All the suspects were transferred to the Israel Police for questioning.

The IDF was able to locate personal belongings that were taken from the settlers during the clash.

Tensions between settlers and Palestinians have ramped up in the wake of the incident.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces following riots between Palestinians and a group of settlers traveling in the northern West Bank, on November 30, 2017.

On Friday, the army presented its initial investigation into the clashes the day before, determining that Palestinians threw rocks at the hiking children before the armed settler opened fire.

"The IDF has a system of coordinating trips that allows all hikers to be kept safe while in an area that requires security preparedness", the military said in a statement.

"Seven other Palestinians were arrested from the central and northern West Bank cities of Ramallah, and Jenin", it added.

The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank on the pretext of searching for "wanted" Palestinians.

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police detained six Palestinians, four of them minors from Issawiyeh.

One of the Israeli escorts suffered a light head wound in the incident after he was hit with a rock.

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