Some 50 Hamas activists confronted Palestinian forces after Muslim prayers on Friday, as the militant group marked the 31st anniversary of their establishment. An Associated Press cameraman said Palestinian police brutally beat Hamas activists to disperse the protest, injuring five and arresting 15.
Meanwhile, street clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters erupted outside Ramallah, with protesters slinging rocks and soldiers responding with tear gas. Tensions have escalated in the West Bank as Israel presses on with a manhunt for the Palestinian gunman that killed two Israeli soldiers on Thursday, the second fatal attack this week. Israel has boosted its forces and arrested dozens of Hamas activists in an overnight raid.
A Hamas official in the West Bank says Israeli forces have arrested dozens of Hamas activists, including lawmakers, in overnight raids.
The arrests come in the wake of a pair of deadly shootings this week believed to have been carried out by Hamas activists.
The Hamas official said on Friday that some 70 members have been arrested this week, including about 40 overnight. The official spoke on condition of anonymity fearing arrest by Israel.
The Israeli military on Friday confirmed the overnight arrests.
A Palestinian gunman on Thursday opened fire at a West Bank bus stop, killing two Israeli soldiers. Earlier this week, another gunman opened fire at another bus stop, wounding seven and causing the premature delivery of a baby that later died.