The Palestinians condemned Israel's decision to launch a wave of arrests targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel who rallied in support of Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa, and Gaza, describing it as a War Declaration.

Iran Press/Middle East: Israeli police announced they will arrest hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel over the coming days for their participation in recent sit-ins in support of Palestinians in occupied eastern  Jerusalem al Quds and the besieged Gaza Strip.

The wave of mass arrests will take place as part of what police called “operation law and order”. It is intended to penalize those who have taken part in demonstrations against settler violence, the Israeli forces’ crackdown on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and the military’s 11-day bombardment campaign of Gaza, which killed 248 people.

In a statement on Sunday night, Israeli police said some 1,550 people have already been arrested since May 9 and the campaign is a “continuation” that aims to “prosecute” demonstrators who have over the past two weeks taken to the streets in towns and cities across Israel.

Thousands of security forces from “all units” will be deployed to carry out raids, it said, in towns and cities predominantly inhabited by Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population.

The statement did not say the campaign would target Zionist settlers who have attacked Palestinians and their homes, as documented in videos and images widely shared on social media.

Police – including border guards and reserve brigades – will search homes and conduct “investigations” until charges are submitted and prison sentences are imposed, it added.

Hassan Jabareen, the general director of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, declared the campaign a “war” against Palestinian demonstrators, political activists, and minors.

The massive arrest operation is a “militarized war against Palestinian citizens of Israel,” Jabareen said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera on Monday, urging a “rapid response” from all Palestinian political movements, parties, and from the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.

The purpose of the arrests is to “intimidate and to exact revenge on Palestinian citizens of Israel – ‘to settle the score’ with Palestinians, in the Israeli police’s own words – for their political positions and activities”, he said.