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Israeli forces raid Salfit-area village in response to alleged rock throwing

Dec. 29, 2016 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 29, 2016 1:20 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces raided the Palestinian town of al-Zawiya west of Salfit in the central occupied West Bank Wednesday night, searching the homes of locals there.

Hani, a resident of the town, told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided and searched several houses in the town, including the homes Ahmad Raja, Sari Sameeh Ghadban Firas, and Firas Adam.

He added that no detentions were made during the raid.

Hani said that Israeli forces have been repeatedly raiding the town in recent days, imposing closures and installing roadblocks, with the Israeli army accusing residents of the town of throwing rocks.

Last week, locals in al-Zawiya reported Israeli forces ransacked several houses in the town, dislocating doors and breaking windows.

Al-Zawiya Mayor Naim Shqeir told Ma'an at the time that Israeli troops claimed the incursion was in response to youth from the village throwing Molotov cocktails at settler vehicles travelling on Israeli Highway 5.

The Wednesday night raid came as hundreds of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli forces also raided the Salfit-area town of Kifl Haris to pray at shrines late Wednesday night, with Israeli forces obstructing the movement of Palestinian residents in the town and installing flying checkpoints at roads to secure the settlers’ visit.

A number of Palestinian villages in the central occupied West Bank are currently facing heightened security measures and restrictions on movement, in response to alleged attacks on Israelis residing in nearby illegal settlements.

Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis -- or of being affiliated with alleged Palestinian attackers -- face arbitrary punishments in the form of road closures and the sealing of entire villages, resulting in serious economic consequences and effects on mobility that rights group have labeled “collective punishment,” representing a clear violation of international law.
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