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Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinians, assault teen girl, in overnight West Bank raids

June 30, 2017 3:53 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2017 6:11 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank between Thursday and Friday, as a teenaged Palestinian girl was reported to have been beaten by soldiers in Hebron.

In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, an Israeli army spokesperson reported that one Palestinian was detained in the village of Tarqumiya, while another, whom locals identified as Ahmad Abu Omar, was detained in Hebron city.

While Hebrew-language media reported that a Palestinian was detained in the Old City of Hebron late on Thursday for allegedly being in possession of a knife, the army spokesperson told Ma’an that they could not confirm that information.

Meanwhile, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that soldiers physically assaulted a 17-year-old Palestinian girl in Hebron on Thursday evening while she was playing with a laser pointer with friends, adding that she was taken to the hospital after suffering from bruises across her body.

The army spokesperson told Ma’an that they would look into the case.

The incident came a day after Israeli forces shot and killed 23-year-old Iyad Munir Arafat Ghaith during a raid in the southern West Bank city.

In the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, the Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the village of Kafr Raai, one in Ajja, and another in al-Fandaqumiya.

Wafa reported that the Palestinian detained in Fandaqumiya was a police officer.

Meanwhile, an armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces in Jenin city as the soldiers were carrying out a raid to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal on Thursday night.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the assailant did not cause any injuries, and fled the scene after dropping his weapon.

Wafa said that Israeli forces also raided the village of Kafr Qalil in the Nablus district overnight, where they ransacked several homes, although no detentions were reported. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they would look into the reports.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a weekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation. Between June 13 and 19, the UN recorded 74 such raids.

Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal injuries.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past several years for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians -- against youth and children in particular -- who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been detained through non-lethal means.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of May.
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