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Israeli forces raid house of slain Palestinian teen, seal bookstore in West Bank raids

April 2, 2017 1:38 P.M. (Updated: April 3, 2017 6:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- During multiple predawn raids across the occupied West Bank on Sunday, Israeli forces interrogated family members of a Palestinian teen who was shot dead by Israeli police in Jerusalem on Saturday, shut down a bookstore, and detained at least eight Palestinians.

Israeli police ambushed 17-year-old Ahmad Ghazal in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday afternoon after the boy stabbed and lightly injured three Israelis. Witnesses saw border police corner Ghazal in a small apartment and shower him with bullets, describing the incident as an “execution” and asserting that the teenager could have been easily detained without using lethal force.

Israeli forces and intelligence officers raided Ghazal’s home in the Jabal al-Tur area (also known as Mount Gerizim) of southern Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank before dawn on Sunday, and interrogated his family for more than an hour, his uncle told Ma’an.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army raided and shut down the al-Bukhari bookstore in Nablus near Al-Najah National University, Palestinian security sources said.

The bookstore, which is owned by Alaa al-Tirawi, would remain closed until May 31, according to the sources.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the bookstore was sealed for allegedly being used by a “Hamas terror cell” for weapons manufacturing and “producing inciting materials.”

She claimed that the Hamas cell had first been uncovered last December, when the Israeli army detained at least 20 Palestinians, accusing them of planning to commit attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and Haifa.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians during raids in the southern occupied West Bank, according to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

PPS said that three Palestinians were detained in the town of Beit Ummar north of Hebron, after a large number of Israeli raided and searched several homes in the town.

Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained 35-year-old Yousif Mahmoud Ikhlayyil after raiding his house, when Israeli troops confiscated winter clothes belonging to Ikhlayyil and his seven-year-old son Ammar. Awwad noted that Ikhlayyil is a former prisoner who has spent four years in Israeli custody.

Israeli forces also detained 24-year-old Abd al-Hamid Muhsin Awwad from his home in Beit Ummar. He too is a former prisoner, having spent three years in Israeli prison. Former prisoner Ibrahim Khalil Mahmoud Abu Dayya, 24, was also detained.

Awwad added that the three detainees were taken to Israel’s Etzion detention center north of Beit Ummar, which increased the number of Palestinians detained from Beit Ummar since the beginning of 2017 to 46.

Israeli forces also raided the house of Muhammad Saadi Ali Ikhlayyil in Beit Ummar and seized his identity card, according to Awwad.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions were made in Beit Ummar.

Also in the Hebron district, Israeli forces detained 22-year-old Muhammad al-Natsheh and 18-year-old Muhammad Abu Akker in Hebron city, as well as Abdullah Atta Hawarin in al-Dhahiriya south of Hebron city, according to PPS.

In the southern Bethlehem district, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians, identified by PPS as 22 -year-old Imad Taqatqa and 23-year-old Anas Ibrahim Nabhan.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions in the Bethlehem area, saying they were made in Beit Sahour and Beit Fajjar.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank.

The UN recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 78 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of January, including 300 minors and 53 women.
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