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Israel releases Palestinian municipal inspectors after holding them for hours

Aug. 9, 2017 1:37 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 9, 2017 1:37 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities released five Palestinian municipal inspectors late on Tuesday hours after they were detained in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli forces turned the detainees over to the Palestinian military liaison upon their release.

Palestinian sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces had made the municipal inspectors sign an order banning them from accessing the office and its surroundings for 15 days.

Israeli authorities also closed the inspectors’ office, located in southern Hebron City, until further notice. Israeli forces had previously raided the office a week earlier, confiscated some material, and ordered that the office be shut down.

Some 30 civilian municipal inspectors, whose job is to maintain calm and security in southern Hebron, work at the office, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority's Hebron governorate.

Palestinian residents of Hebron, especially in the Old City, face large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with scores of permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.

Some 6,500 Palestinians and 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live in the Old City of Hebron under heavy military protection according to a 2016 report by legal rights NGO BADIL.
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