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Israeli forces detain Palestinian teen at checkpoint for alleged knife possession

March 15, 2017 10:09 P.M. (Updated: March 16, 2017 11:26 A.M.)
(Credit: Israeli police)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian teenager was detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday for allegedly carrying a knife, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that border police detained a 17-year-old resident of Hebron at the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint in the Old City, adding that the teenager had a knife.

Rosenfeld said that the Palestinian was being questioned by Israeli forces.

The incident occurred a day after Israeli forces denied eyewitness reports that an Israeli soldier had attempted to plant a knife on a Palestinian teen at a checkpoint in Hebron’s Old City.

Local activists with the group Human Rights Defenders who were present at the scene claimed that the detention could have taken a deadly turn if the encounter had not been filmed, and alleged soldiers were planning on planting the knife on the scene.

The Israeli army denied activists’ claims, calling the reports “false manipulations and an attempt to distort the truth.”

Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians for allegedly being in possession of knives in the past year following a spate of alleged and actual small-scale knife attacks by Palestinians that surged in the fall of 2015.

Rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases, also denouncing what they have termed as a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner -- amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committed the killings.

Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during a stabbing attack.

Meanwhile, rights groups have widely documented the abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions.

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