RAMALLAH Feb. 8 (JMCC) - Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested in Shufat refugee camp in Jerusalem Monday morning.
Witnesses said that hundreds of Israeli border police and special forces searched homes for weapons and made arrests. Among those detained were adherents to the Salafi and Dawa strains of Islam, as well as Fateh activists, said residents.
Amir Khader al-Dibbis, camp secretary of Fateh movement, was arrested and his mother reportedly knocked on the ground by Israeli soldiers.
Some ten Palestinian men were seen sitting on the ground outside the camp under police guard.
The sweep came after clashes broke out at the entrance to the camp on Sunday. Shufat has been separated from the rest of Jerusalem by the Wall Israel has constructed nearby. Two checkpoints now block the camp's entrance and residents are often frustrated by searches and traffic jams while entering and leaving the camp.
According to some estimates, Shufat's numbers have doubled to 25,000 people since Israeli began construction on the Wall and residents seeking closer access to the city have moved into the camp.
Monday's arrest campaign was the largest in years, according to the Center for Jerusalem Social and Economic Rights.
The presence of bulldozers with the troops may indicate that Israeli authorities yet plan to demolish a home inside the camp.
Palestinians in Jerusalem face a housing crunch and often build without obtaining expensive and hard-to-get building permits.
UN agencies have criticized Israel for demolishing Palestinian homes under the pretext that they were built illegally.