On Saturday, the Israeli army raided the occupied West Bank village of Arura, the hometown of senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri.
The army transformed his residence into an interrogation center and detained approximately 20 individuals, as the village’s mayor and witnesses reported.
The incursion into Arura, located around 20 kilometers from Ramallah, coincides with Israel’s ongoing war against the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
Saleh al-Arouri is the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and currently resides abroad.
Arura’s mayor, Ali Khseib, told AFP that the army seized al-Arouri’s residence and used it to interrogate numerous village residents.
During the operation, the army erected a sign on al-Arouri’s house featuring his image and the Israeli flag, as witnessed by onlookers, and these images circulated on social media. The sign read, “This was the home of Saleh al-Arouri, now the headquarters of Abu al-Nemr – Israeli Intelligence.”
Residents clarified that Abu al-Nemr is the codename for the Israeli intelligence officer responsible for the region.
After dozens of villagers underwent questioning, the Israeli army arrested over 20 people, including Saleh al-Arouri’s brother and nine of his nephews.
The Israeli army issued a statement confirming a joint operation with the Shin Bet internal security agency in Arura, during which they “interrogated and arrested dozens of Hamas members, including relatives of the senior Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri.”
According to the statement, “During the operation, al-Arouri’s house was used by Shin Bet and the army as a detention and interrogation center.”
Saleh al-Arouri, whom Israel accuses of masterminding attacks against it, became the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau under Ismail Haniyeh in 2017.
He spent a total of 20 years in Israeli prisons and was released in 2010 under the condition of deportation. He currently resides in Lebanon.