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Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians during overnight raids in West Bank

Feb. 1, 2017 6:10 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2017 6:10 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 18 Palestinians during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. 

Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, with the UN recording an average of 95 weekly raids in the West Bank in 2016.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were detained in Israeli prisons as of October 2016.

Southern West Bank 

In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians, including a 14-year-old. 

Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad said that Israeli forces raided and searched several houses in the village of Beit Ummar using police dogs. 

Awwad added that Israeli forces detained four Palestinian who had formerly spent time in Israeli prisons. They were identified as Muhammad Munir Radwan Qawqas Ikhlayyil, 37, who had previously spent 12 years in Israeli custody, Ahmad Khader Abed Abu Maria, 50, and Maher Ibrahim Odeh Sabarneh, 35, who had both spent three years in Israeli prisons, and a 14-year-old identified as Khattab Wahid Hamdi Abu Maria, also a former prisoner.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) also reported the detention of Alaa Moussa Zaaqiq, 25, Ayman Ali Abu Arqub, 32, and Omar Rujoub. However, Awwad reported that Zaaqiq had only been summoned by Israeli intelligence for interrogations at the Etzion detention center in northern Beit Ummar. It was unclear which area of Hebron the other two detainees were from. 

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions in Beit Ummar, adding that two of the detainees were alleged Hamas operatives. 

The spokesperson also added that three additional Palestinians were detained, two of which were detained in the village of Idhna, while the other was detained at an unspecified village and was reported to be an alleged Hamas operative. 

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Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, Israeli forces raided the al-Nashash area in the village of al-Khader and sealed a car wash after claiming that the imprisoned owners, Abed al-Minam and Dirar Muhammad Salah, were accused of planting an explosive device near an Israeli military site in November last year, according to PPS. 

The brothers were detained by Israeli forces last year after a similar raid. However, neither Israeli nor Palestinian sources reported any detentions in Bethlehem. 

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Central West Bank 

According to PPS, in the West Bank district of Ramallah, Numaan Hamid was detained from the village of Silwad, while Firas Nafi, 20, was detained from the village of Nilin. 

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that two Palestinians were detained in Silwad and Nilin, adding that the Palestinian detained in Silwad was an alleged Hamas operative.

PPS also reported the detention of Ahmad Hisham Ubeidat, 24, from Jerusalem.

Northern West Bank 

In Qalqiliya, Israeli forces detained Abdullah Khalid Radi, 23, PPS reported. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian was detained from the village of Azzun in Qalqiliya. 

According to PPS, Israeli forces also raided the district of Nablus and detained Nadim Nazeh Ismail from the village of Beit Dajan, and Omar Ruslan Qindil from Balata refugee camp. 

An Israeli army spokesperson reported an additional detention in the village of Beit Furik. However, Palestinian sources did not provide additional details on the detention. 

In the Tulkarem district, Israeli forces detained Abd al-Fattah Zeidan, 20, PPS reported. 

Further north, in the Jenin district, PPS reported that Israeli forces detained Amro Ahmad Masri, 24, and Salah Yasin Ghanam, 23, from the village of Aqqaba. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions in Aqqaba, adding that the two were alleged Hamas operatives. 
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