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Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians, target rehabilitation center and print shop

Sept. 5, 2017 2:01 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 5, 2017 9:27 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army detained at least 19 Palestinians, including at least one minor in predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

Raids in the Ramallah area, which sparked clashes between locals and Israeli forces, targeted a print shop that was sealed off, as well as a center in a refugee camp dedicated to the rehabilitation of disabled people, while leaflets were scattered in the city ordering merchants not to sell toy guns.

In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that three Palestinians were detained. Jihad al-Masri was detained in the town of Dura, while Yousif Mahmoud Abu Mariya and Hasan Muhammad Zaaqiq were detained in Beit Ummar, the statement said.

Locals sources clarified that Hamza Jihad al-Masri was detained in al-Surra village near Dura.

Local activist in Beit Ummar Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma'an that Israeli troops stormed the town’s central Bahar neighborhood and ransacked two houses, damaging their interiors, before detaining the two men and taking them both to Israel’s Gush Etzion detention center north of Beit Ummar.

Awad highlighted that Abu Mariya, 39, has previously served a total of seven years in Israeli custody, and that 22-year-old Zaaqiq was a senior undergraduate at al-Quds University.

An Israeli spokesperson said that a total of three Palestinians were detained in Beit Ummar.

In the nearby al-Arrub refugee camp, Israeli forces also detained 31-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Hasaniya from his house. Locals said Hasaniya is an officer in the Palestinian Authority's national security forces.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in al-Arrub and said another Palestinian was detained in al-Alaqa village, also in the Hebron district.

Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister, said on Twitter that a top Palestinian security official, who was later identified as Jalal Naji Sweiti, was also detained for allegedly “inciting to kill Israelis” and expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann in Facebook posts.

Locals also reported military raids in Hebron city's al-Mahawir, Abu Rumman, al-Sharif, and Abu Sneina neighborhoods, where no detentions were reported.

According to the PPS statement, Israeli forces raided al-Amari refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and detained 17-year-old Yahya Jibril Rummana.

Locals sources said Israeli forces also raided the offices of a local committee for the rehabilitation of disabled people in al-Amari refugee camp, and that the Israeli soldiers damaged equipment there.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were unaware of the incident.
A local rehabilitation for disabled people in al-Amari, after being raided by the Israeli army

Meanwhile, Israeli forces also scattered leaflets throughout the streets of Ramallah and al-Bireh, warning shop owners and merchants not to sell toy guns. The leaflets said that anyone who trades toy guns could be detained because toy guns serve “a dual purpose,” locals said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the warrants forbade the sale of firearms or any toy “that could be converted into a dangerous weapon.”

Separately, Israeli forces raided and shut down al-Nur printing house in Ramallah city and confiscated equipment, including computers and printers. The Israeli army alleged that the printing workshop “produced inciting materials,” and confirmed that equipment was seized from the business.

The army spokesperson also confirmed one detention in al-Amari refugee camp, and added that two Palestinians were also detained in the town of Kifl Haris in the central Salfit district north of Ramallah.

Following the military raids, clashes broke out in Ramallah city, al-Bireh, Umm al-Sharayit, and al-Amari between locals and Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters who hurled stones and empty bottles at the Israeli military vehicles, locals told Ma'an.

The Israeli army spokesperson said they were unaware of clashes taking place in the area.

PPS said that Israeli forces also detained five Palestinians in al-Fara refugee camp in the Tubas district of the northern occupied West Bank, west of the Jordan Valley. The detainees were identified as Ahmad Omar Subih, Muath Issa Allawi, Jihad Anwar Udah, Jumah Fathi al-Shafie and his brother Omar.

An Israeli army spokesperson only confirmed one detention in al-Fara refugee camp.

In the northern Nablus, PPS said that Israeli forces detained Yasin Abu Lafah, Mousa al-Madfa, and Qusay Hashash from Askar refugee camp.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions were made in Nablus city but did not specify that they were carried out in the refugee camp, which is within Nablus’ municipal boundaries.

In the northernmost district of Jenin, Israeli forces detained Ahmad Yousif Malaysha and Kamal Yosuif Alawnah from the village of Jaba, according to PPS and confirmed by the Israeli army.

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

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, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

Since the beginning of 2017, the United Nations documented a biweekly average of 87 Israeli military search and arrest operations into the West Bank.
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