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Palestinians targeted as Israel clamps down on prisoner solidarity action

ISRAELI forces detained 15 Palestinians, including a father and his son, in multiple raids across the occupied West Bank today as the government clamped down on solidarity actions.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said that those held in Hebron included Ibrahim Khalil who spent 14 years in jail for resisting the Israeli occupation. 

Anas Shadid, who served three years in administrative detention and went on hunger strike twice, was also detained in the raids.

In the town of Jayyous, east of the city of Qalqilya, a father and his 18-year-old son were detained by the army.

Operations took place in a number of other towns and cities in the occupied territories with security forces clamping down ahead of the March 2 general election in Israel — the third time the country has gone to the polls in just nine months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a strong challenge from former army chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White alliance.

He is desperate to win to avoid facing trial on corruption charges — a possibility if he loses parliamentary immunity.

On Saturday Israeli Defence Minister Natfali Bennett issued an administrative restraining order preventing 30 Israeli activists from entering the West Bank to take part in demonstrations against the occupation.

One of those included Jonathan Pollack, who remains in detention after far-right group Ad Kan filed a complaint against him. They alleged that his presence in Palestine amounted to an assault on Israeli security services.

Mr Pollack refuses to recognise the Israeli courts and legal system. He has been held in custody for 16 days. 

Mr Netanyahu has ratcheted up the rhetoric ahead of the poll and retains the support of the Trump administration. He has previously pledged to annex the West Bank if elected.


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