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3 Palestinians shot, injured during Israeli raids in which 48 were detained

May 17, 2017 4:05 P.M. (Updated: May 18, 2017 1:16 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Detention raids conducted by Israeli forces between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in several villages across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem sparked clashes in at least three cases, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources. Three Palestinians were reported to have been shot in the northern West Bank.

At least 48 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territory overnight.

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

The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 70 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of March, including 300 minors, 61 women, and 500 under administrative detention.

Northern West Bank

A violent military raid into Jenin refugee camp sparked clashes with locals. Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians, and 20-year-old camp resident Wahid Yousif al-Ghoul was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his lower extremities, locals told Ma'an.

Israeli forces also indiscriminately fired stun grenades and tear gas inside the densely populated refugee camp, leading several locals to suffer from tear gas suffocation.

Head of the ambulance department in Jenin city Mahmoud al-Saadi said that emergency medical crews rushed to the area and evacuated al-Ghoul and those suffering from tear gas inhalations to the Jenin Governmental Hospital.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that a second Palestinians was also shot in the raid.

In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “tens of Palestinians gathered around Israeli forces operating in the area, when two pipe bombs were thrown. The forces shot towards the assailants, and two hits were identified."

The reason for the raid remained unclear, as no detentions were reported in the camp.

However, Israeli forces detained a number of Palestinians elsewhere in the Jenin area.

In the town of Qabatiya south Jenin city, the Israeli army said one Palestinian was detained, identified by locals as Sabri Assaf.

The Israeli army also said that five Palestinians were detained in the nearby village of al-Zababida, four of whom identified by locals as Tariq Mahmoud Nabhan, brothers Ahmad and Nadim Bassam Sharqawi, and Bashar Ibrahim Abbas.

The army spokesperson also said one Palestinian was detained in the town of Azzun in the Qalqiliya district.

In the Nablus district, one Palestinians was detained in the village of Asira al-Qibliya, while six were detained in al-Askar refugee camp, according to the army spokesperson.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the raid into Askar refugee camp also sparked clashes, and that one Palestinian youth was injured after Israeli soldiers shot him. He was given first aid by the Palestinian Red Crescent before being evacuated to a hospital.

Meanwhile, Israeli news site The Jerusalem Post reported that four Palestinians were detained in Askar for suspected involvement in an combined IED and shooting attack on Israeli soldiers near the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh east of Askar that took place on April 23, after a gag order was lifted on the case Wednesday. No injuries were reported at the time of the attack.

Hebrew-language news sites identified the detainees as Muhammad Abdullah Ibrahim, Ahmad Khalid Ahmad Abed, Izz al-Din Salah al-Din Aqraa, and Samih Fares Abu Kushk, all from Askar.

A spokesperson for Israel’s security agency the Shin Bet could not be reached to clarify if the four were detained during Tuesday night’s raid, or at an earlier time.

Southern West Bank

In the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, an Israeli army spokesperson said that three Palestinians were detained in the village of Tuqu, one in Husan, and one in Bethlehem city.

According to Wafa, one of the three detained in Tuqu was a 16-year-old minor.

In the southernmost district of Hebron, two Palestinians were detained in al-Arrub refugee camp, one in the village of Bani Naim, and one in Hebron city.

The Israeli army spokesperson added that an additional Palestinian was also detained in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces also detained a wounded 19-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday morning after an Israeli settler got out of his car and shot the young man for allegedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles near Silwad in the central West Bank.

East Jerusalem

Israeli police raided the village of al-Tur in occupied East Jerusalem Tuesday night and detained Palestinian activist Wafaa Abu Jumaa from her home transferred to an interrogation center, local sources told Ma’an.

Separately, Israeli police detained two unidentified Palestinians from the Old City, who were suspected of throwing rocks and fireworks at Israeli police forces and border guards overnight Tuesday near the Old City, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a written statement.

Wafa reported that Palestinians had been rallying in the Old City in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.

A similar demonstration in the neighborhood of Issawiya north of the Old City also erupted into clashes, with Israeli police firing stun grenades at Palestinians who were throwing rocks, empty bottles, and fireworks, Wafa reported, saying that two Palestinians from Issawiya were detained.

Al-Samri also said that 18 Palestinians were detained overnight in the neighborhoods of Silwan, Beit Safafa, Beit Hanina, Ras al-Amud, and Shufat for being involved in buying or selling drugs, culminating a five-month long operation conducted by an undercover police agent.

The crackdown came after at least 20 Palestinians were detained during predawn detention raids on Tuesday.

The same night, Palestinian security services arrested four Palestinians in raids, according to a statement on Hamas’ official website, as part of the Palestinian Authority's widely criticized security coordination with Israel.

In Hebron, the Palestinian preventive security services arrested Ghassan al-Qawasmeh, Bassem Ubeido, and Issam Barqan, while Akram Salma was detained from the town of Beituniya near Ramallah.

The report added that former prisoner arrested by Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence, Alaa al-Zaaqiq, from Beit Ummar north of Hebron, was still being held in the Jericho prison for the 23rd day; former prisoner Malik Jaari from Tulkarem was still being held by the PA for 8th day; and student at the Polytechnic University Haitham Ghawadra was being held for the 12th day in a row in Jenin.
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