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Israeli forces detain Palestinians, shut down workshop in predawn raids

March 7, 2017 10:11 A.M. (Updated: March 7, 2017 4:32 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces conducted raids in multiple areas across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Tuesday, detaining at least eight Palestinians and shutting down a workshop that the Israeli army said was used to manufacture weapons.

Israeli soldiers stormed the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and ransacked approximately 20 houses belonging to Palestinians who have previously been imprisoned by Israel.

Locals identified a number of former prisoners whose houses were raided as Fayiz Misk, Shadi Uweiwi, Mahmoud Yusri Uweiwi, Yahya Ismail Qawasmi, Raed Natsha, Rasmi Dufish, Hashim Abu Turki, Yaqoub Zaarir, Hisham Hmeidan Sharabati, Thaer Ziyad Fakhouri, Bilal Salhab, Anas Zghayyar, and Fadi Shawar.

Israeli soldiers briefly detained Fayiz Misk for a few hours before releasing him.

Sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces “violently” inspected the houses and "turned furniture upside down."

Israeli forces also detained two brothers from the town of Husan west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, identified in a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) as Ismat Amjad Hamamra, 28, and Muhannad Amjad Hamamra, 26.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two were detained, and claimed they were "Hamas operatives."

The PPS statement said that five Palestinians were detained in the village of Bartaa in the northern most district of Jenin, identified as Hamid Jamil al-Khatib and his brothers Mahir and Mujahid, in addition to Muatasim Aziz Qabaha, and Munis Marwan Qabaha.

Ali Salih Hithnawi was detained in Qabatiya in the Jenin district, according to PPS, and confirmed by the Israeli army spokesperson who claimed he was a Hamas operative.

The spokesperson added that Israeli forces seized “weapons manufacturing machines” at a metals workshop during a raid into the town of Jamain south of Nablus in the northern West Bank early Tuesday morning.

The workshop’s owner Mansour Majid Gheith told Ma'an that Israeli forces stormed Jamain and broke into his workshop after breaking open the main door.

The Israeli soldiers, he said, destroyed the contents of his workshop, before they notified him that it had been shut down by military order.

He said that the Israeli raid was carried out without any prior notice, and that the workshop was worth hundreds of thousands of Israeli shekels.

An Israeli spokesperson told Ma’an that a “illegal weapons and explosives manufacturing workshop” was uncovered, and that “more than one” machine was confiscated.

Israeli forces carry out 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, and 73 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

The majority of raids are carried in cities, villages, and refugee camps located in Area A which should be under full Palestinian Authority control according to the Oslo agreements.

During a raid into the center of the Ramallah district early Monday morning, Israeli forces ambushed and killed a 31-year-old activist Basel al-Araj, after he had been on the run from Israeli authorities since last September.
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