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Israeli forces detain 9 Palestinians, interrogate children in West Bank raids

Jan. 5, 2017 5:46 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2017 5:46 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during overnight raids carried out between Wednesday and Thursday, and interrogated several Palestinian children, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

In the West Bank district of Bethlehem, 22-year-old Muhammad Saleh was detained, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). The exact location of the detention was not reported by PPS.

However, locals told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the village of Wadi Rahhal south of Bethlehem for the second consecutive night, stating that tens of Israeli soldiers raided the small village and searched several homes in the area.

Locals added that during the house raids, Israeli forces demanded that a father bring together all of his children and proceeded to take pictures of them. His adult children were forced to put their ID cards on their chest as Israeli soldiers took pictures of each of them.

Locals also noted that Israeli soldiers conducted similar procedures while raiding homes in the village on Tuesday night. The village has been raided by Israeli forces routinely for the past two weeks as Israeli authorities have continued a manhunt in search for a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a stabbing attack in the nearby illegal settlement of Efrat.

Toward the south, in the West Bank district of Hebron, PPS reported the detention of Nahed Nassim Anati, along with another unidentified Palestinian from the village of Dura.

An Israeli army spokesperson reported a detention in the village of Biddu in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, claiming the detainee was an alleged Hamas operative. Palestinian sources did not provide additional details.

In the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained Usama Abd al-Rizq Amr from the village of Kafr Qaddum in the Qalqiliya district, according to PPS, during a violent raid on the community.

The village’s popular resistance coordinator Murad Shteiwi told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the village and searched several homes. When Israeli forces raided the home of Hikmat Shteiwi, Israeli forces locked his wife in one of the rooms and proceeded to interrogate their son Tariq, 13, and Malik, 12, for allegedly participating in one of the village’s weekly marches last Friday, Murad Shteiwi said.

Israeli forces also threatened to detain and shoot the two children if they were to be seen at the marches again, Murad Shteiwi told Ma’an.

Israeli forces also raided the home of Imad Shteiwi and interrogated his 15-year-old son Qusay, and carried out additional home raids on the houses of Yousif Shteiwi, 25, and Aws Amr, 27, and reportedly assaulted them.

Murad Shteiwi added that Israeli forces fired sound bombs at the houses’ front yards, causing panic among the children in the homes.

Meanwhile in the city of Tubas, northeast of Nablus, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians including two former prisoners, identified by PPS as Musab Siyaj, Bilal Sawafta, and Rami Shrida. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions in Tubas.

An Israeli army spokesperson also reported a detention in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, claiming the Palestinian was a Hamas operative.

PPS added in its statement that it had recorded the detention of 100 Palestinians, including 18 minors, since the beginning of 2017.

Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, with the UN recording some 178 raids in the West Bank between Dec. 13 and 26, 2016.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October, 400 of whom were minors.

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