The Israeli military announced on Wednesday (June 2) the arrest of a senior leader of the Hamas terror group in the occupied West Bank.
The IDF announced that Sheikh Jamal al Tawil, a senior Hamas leader, was captured late Tuesday in Ramallah by the IDF’s elite force, Duvdevan, in conjunction with the Israel Security Agency. The joint capture.
The IDF said Tawil had been “recently involved in organizing violent riots and inciting violence” and was trying to re-establish an Islamic terrorist base in Ramallah.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Europe and Israel.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem confirmed and condemned the arrest of its senior leader, saying it would not prevent the group from further activity in the region.
The arrest comes as Israeli authorities have been conducting a comprehensive crackdown on Hamas activities in the West Bank in recent days, according to The Times of Israel. An Israel Security Agency spokeswoman told the outlet that more than 10 Hamas members, including prominent Palestinian politician Naif Rajoub, were arrested on May 20. It was not immediately clear if anyone was released.
Israel and Hamas ended a new round of military clashes on May 20 after Egypt brokered a deal.
The new round of clashes began on May 10. It coincided with the Muslim month of Ramadan and a planned Jewish march to mark the annual “Jerusalem Day. On that day, Palestinian mobs threw artillery shells at Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, sparking clashes. Hamas fired long-range rockets at Israel.
On the same day, Israel’s Supreme Court was set to hold a later postponed hearing to evict several Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, who had not paid their rent. In the weeks leading up to May 10, Palestinian protesters and rioters had reportedly been clashing with Israeli police.
During the clashes, Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel, but about 90 percent were stopped by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Meanwhile, Israel conducted massive retaliatory air strikes against the Gaza Strip.
The clashes resulted in 13 deaths in Israel and at least 253 deaths in Gaza. There are reports that some 600 Hamas rockets were fired and failed to land in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said some of the failed rockets may have killed or injured Palestinians.
While there have been no further rocket incidents or airstrikes since the cease-fire was agreed, the Times of Israel reported that the terror group called on Palestinians to participate in a “day of rage” in response to what it called “aggressive settlers’ aggression. The Times of Israel reported that the terror group called on Palestinians to participate in a “day of rage” in response to what it called “settlers’ aggression” and the May 10 “storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In particular, Hamas called on Palestinians to block Israeli bypass roads in the West Bank and to gather in areas where there are frequent clashes with IDF soldiers (IDF).