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Israeli forces detain Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids, spark clashes

Sept. 19, 2017 2:15 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2017 10:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians during overnight raids between Monday and Tuesday across the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 16 Palestinians were detained, and did not offer details on the locations where the detentions were carried out.

Meanwhile, local Palestinian sources told Ma’an of five detentions in the West Bank.

In the northern Nablus district, Israeli forces detained a member of the Huwwara village’s municipal council.

Spokesperson of the Fatah movement in Huwwara told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Murad Tawfiq Odeh, 47, after raiding and searching his house in central Huwwara.

The spokesperson expressed the Fatah movement’s condemnation of the detention and demanded Palestinian officials pressure Israel to release Odeh.

In the southern West Bank, locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained two teenagers from Bethlehem city. The teens were identified as Fadi Issa Atiq, 17, and Amir Samir Ikhmayyis, 18, from the al-Maslakh neighborhood in central Bethlehem.

In the Hebron district, Israeli forces raided the town of Dura and detained two Palestinians identified as Abed Walid Sweiti and Mahmoud Damhan al-Fasfous.

Israeli forces also confiscated a vehicle belonging to the wife of former prisoner Sufiyan Jamjum.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the house of two prisoners Suhaib and Abd al-Halim Qufeisheh in Hebron City and delivered their unidentified brother a summons notice to meet with Israeli intelligence.

In the Hebron-area village of Beit Ummar, clashes erupted after Israeli forces raided the area in the predawn hours of Tuesday.

Activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that clashes erupted in the al-Qurneh area, where soldiers delivered an interrogation summons to Mujahed Ziad Abdullah Awad, 27.

Israeli forces fired teargas at youths who threw stones, as well as at homes, causing several locals to suffer from severe tear gas inhalation.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they would look into reports of the clashes.

Separately, Israeli police announced on Tuesday that at least 11 Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem were detained recently in Shufat refugee camp, al-Tur, Silwan, and Beit Hanina, for their alleged involvement in throwing rocks and fireworks at Israeli forces.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that investigations continued into nine Jerusalemite detainees from Shufat refugee camp, al-Tur, Silwan, and Beit Hanina for taking part in such incidents over the last few weeks, while two other Palestinians in their 20s from al-Tur were also being held for throwing rocks at an Israeli vehicle on Sept. 9.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that a group of Palestinian citizens of Israel have recently been detained for taking part in stone and Molotov cocktail throwing while also planning shooting attacks, though it could not immediately be confirmed the report referred to the case reported by al-Samri.

The report identified the group's "leader" as Muhammad Frukh, a 39-year-old Silwan resident, who "was in contact with elements from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, which reportedly financed and sponsored the cell's operations" -- which also allegedly included lighting an Israeli police vehicle on fire in addition to stone and Molotov cocktails throwing.

The group also reportedly planned to carry out shooting attack on Israeli vehicles or homes in illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

Ynet said that the "terror cell" was known as "The Silwan Ghosts," and identified other detainees accused of involvement as Amir Faroh, 19, Saoud Elayyan, 18, Muhammad Abu Tayeh, 19, Amjad Shweiki, 19, Ali Abbasi, 19, Ahmad Abu Khalaf, 18, and another unidentified minor.

The group will be indicted on Wednesday, according to Ynet.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 85 search and detention raids carried out thus far in 2017, according to UN documentation.

Israeli forces detained 522 Palestinians, including 130 minors and 16 women, over the course of the month of August, according to a joint report released Palestinian institutions on Sunday.

The total number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons reached 6,300 prisoners, the report said, 64 of them women. Among them are 10 girls under the age of 18 and 300 underage boys, 450 administrative detainees imprisoned without charge or trial, and 12 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian parliament.

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