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Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians, including 2 minors, in overnight raids

Dec. 19, 2016 6:32 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 19, 2016 8:45 P.M.)
14-year-old Qusai Nael Taqatqa, detained overnight by Israeli forces
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians -- including two minors -- in predawn raids Monday, with the Israeli army also claiming to have uncovered “the largest weapons factory ever discovered” by the military.

A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said that Israeli forces raided the village of Beit Fajjar in southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and detained 14-year-old Qusai Nael Taqatqa after breaking into his house.

Members of Qusai’s family told Ma’an that Israeli troops ransacked and damaged the interior of their home during the raid, before taking the boy to an unknown location, without giving an explanation for his arrest.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed a detention was made in Beit Fajjar.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli soldiers took part in a raid into the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, when at least two Palestinians were reportedly detained and a weapons factory was said to be uncovered.

Some 15 lathes were seized, in addition to other production materials for homemade weapons, a large cache of ammunition, and more than 100 guns, in “a large underground space built beneath a house in southern Hebron,” Israeli news site Ynet said.

Ynet reported that Israeli forces estimate that the majority of shooting attacks that have occurred in the occupied Palestinian territory and in Israel were conducted with weapons produced in the occupied West Bank.

Two Palestinians were detained, who Ynet said were a father and son who owned the factory.

The Israeli army released a video documenting the Hebron raid.

Story continues below.

Weapons factory uncovered in Hebron (Photo: Israeli army spokesperson)

Weapons factory uncovered in Hebron (Photo: Israeli army spokesperson)

Weapons factory uncovered in Hebron (Photo: Israeli army spokesperson)

However, the PPS statement identified only one Palestinian detained in Hebron -- Ayman Nasser al-Salayma -- and an Israeli spokesperson also told Ma’an just one Palestinian was detained in Hebron as well. It remained unclear if al-Salayma’s detention was related to the weapon factory.

Israeli forces also detained 20-year-old Rami Bilal al-Nouri and 20-year-old Adham Ali al-Amer in Nablus in the northern West Bank, as well as Yazan Shoubash from the northernmost district of Jenin, according to PPS.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed a detention in Jenin, which said was carried out in the village of Dahiyat Sabah al-Kheir, and also confirmed one Nablus detention that she said was made in the village of Qalil.

The spokesperson also informed Ma’an of two further detentions in the village of Balaa in the northern district of Tulkarem.

Israeli forces also detained seven Palestinians from Shufat refugee camp and the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, identified by PPS as Muhmoud Shawish, Moumen Hashim, Munir Ajlouni, Ameer Qawasmi, Mohammad Sheikha, Mustafa Sheikha, and a Palestinian minor, Yaqoub Qawasmi.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October, including some 400 children. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

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