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Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinians in West Bank raids

May 8, 2016 12:40 P.M. (Updated: May 8, 2016 6:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided several areas in the occupied West Bank overnight and detained at least three Palestinians, in addition to a Palestinian who was detained earlier Saturday evening, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

A statement by the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) identified those detained in predawn raids as Mahmoud Ratib Masaura from Attil in the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem, and Saqir and Mutasim Mustafa al-Qawasmah from Hebron in the southern West Bank.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that one Palestinian was detained northeast of Tulkarem, and two in Hebron, all due to allegedly beingHamas operatives.

Meanwhile, Murad Mustafa Hammad was detained at the entrance of Jericho in the central West Bank for allegedly having a knife earlier Saturday, PPS said.

The organization added that in the village of Tuqu near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces raided the house of Omar al-Shawish and summoned him to meet intelligence services.

The detentions come after a PLO official said on Saturday that Palestinian leadership was "very serious" about ending security coordination with Israel following Israel’s refusal to end the near daily-raids conducted by Israeli forces into Area A -- the 18 percent of the West Bank officially under full Palestinian civil and security jurisdiction.

Israeli military has conducted a weekly average of 92 search and detention operations into the West Bank since the beginning of 2016, according to UN documentation.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons. The organization estimates that around 40 percent of the Palestinian male population has been detained at some point in their lives.

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