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Israel detains 12 Palestinians amid tensions in West Bank

Attack on Israeli vehicle – that injured the driver - comes after two Palestinians were found murdered in a burnt car
Israeli border police stand guard next to new concrete roadblocks at a tramway stop in annexed Arab east Jerusalem on 6 November, 2014 (AFP)

The Israeli army has detained 12 Palestinians in overnight raids in eastern Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank, the army said on Twitter on Friday.

The arrests came shortly after an Israeli vehicle was burnt and its driver was badly injured in an attack in the West Bank on Thursday.

The attack came after the bodies of two Palestinian citizens of Israel were found in a burnt-out car in the city of Ramla in central Israel early Thursday.

"Preliminary examination of the scene has revealed that the two Arab residents of Ramla were murdered," Luba Samri, a spokesperson for the Israeli police, said.

Israeli forces routinely conduct arrest campaigns against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on claims they are "wanted" by Israeli authorities.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons located throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.

Also on Friday, a Palestinian with a knife wounded two Israeli police officers on Friday in Jerusalem's Old City, the scene of months of tensions, Israeli authorities said.

One officer was wounded in the neck and the other in the hand, according to a police spokeswoman who described their injuries as light.

Police launched a major search in the Old City and surrounding areas for the attacker, who fled, she said.

Annexed east Jerusalem, including the Old City, has been shaken by frequent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in recent months, as well as a series of "lone wolf" attacks on Israelis.

This summer, three Jewish settlers confessed to abducting and murdering Mohamed Abu Khdeer, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, in east Jerusalem.

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem – and in the rest of the occupied West Bank – since the kidnap and murder of three Israeli settlers this summer and the subsequent abduction and murder of Abu Khdeer.

Both incidents preceded a devastating Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in July and August that left over 2,160 Palestinians dead – the vast majority of them civilians – and some 11,000 injured.

The rising tensions in Jerusalem even further escalated since late October, when Israel briefly closed occupied east Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque compound after an extremist rabbi was shot and injured by a Palestinian man in west Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the occupied territories have been increasingly vocal about their rejection of Israel's military occupation.