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Israeli police detain Palestinian girl in Hebron for alleged knife possession

Feb. 11, 2017 5:28 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2017 11:22 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli border police detained a Palestinian teenage girl at a military checkpoint near the Ibrahimi mosque in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday afternoon, claiming she was in possession of a knife and intended to carry out a stabbing attack.

According to Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, the girl approached Israeli police deployed at the checkpoint, and the girl was brandishing a knife. Israeli forces pulled out their weapons and detained the woman immediately, al-Samri said, adding that forces did not open fire or "use force," while detaining the girl.

No Israelis were injured in the incident.

Local sources identified the girl as 17-year-old Israa Samih Jaber, who lives near the southern side of the Ibrahimi mosque.

Witnesses told Ma'an that after Jaber entered a closed military zone near the mosque where entry to Palestinians is forbidden, Israeli border police apprehended her and put her flat on the ground to handcuff her.

Witnesses added that in addition to border police, some 20 Israeli settlers were present at the scene, and that Jaber did not attempt to attack any of them, though the sources could not confirm whether or not the teen was in possession of a knife.

According to al-Samri, Jaber was transferred to Israeli intelligence for interrogation.

A photo later released by Israeli police purported to show the knife that was seized in the incident.

Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians for allegedly being in possession of knives in recent months following a spate of alleged and actual small-scale knife attacks by Palestinians that surged in Fall 2015. Between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016, at least 117 Palestinians were killed while committing or attempting to commit alleged or actual attacks.

While Israel alleges many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

Hebron in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with a number of Palestinians, many of them women, having been shot at the same checkpoint near Ibrahimi mosque.

Mistreatment of Palestinians has been common since the city was divided in the 1990s after a US-born settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The majority of the city was placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, while the Old City and surrounding areas were placed under Israeli military control in a sector known as H2.
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