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Israeli forces detain 3 more PA security officers

Nov. 21, 2009 9:16 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 24, 2009 9:35 A.M.)
Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided the West Bank town of Jayyus northeast of Qalqiliya on Saturday morning and detained five Palestinians including three Palestinian Authority Security Services officers, officials said.

On Friday, four officers and one commander with the Palestinian Intelligence Services were detained from the Salfit area. High-level talks between Israel and Palestine were held throughout the day, with alleged US pressure added shortly before noon. Palestinian security forces are trained by US General Keith Dayton.

The five men were released late Friday night, Palestinian security sources confirmed.

It was not clear whether the second round of detentions targeting PA forces was related to the first incident. The head of the Israeli civil liaison department said his Israeli counterparts denied knowledge of the detention of any PA security officers in Qalqiliya on Saturday.

Eyewitnesses in Jayyus said the invading Israeli forces entered an internet cafe and ransacked the site Friday night, temporarily detaining all the patrons inside. After midnight several military vehicles stormed the town under the cover of heavy gunfire and stun grenades. Locals said they believed the men were detained from their homes.

The officers detained in the Saturday morning raid were identified by Palestinian security sources as:

Ayyoub Khalid from the Palestinian National Security Services

Muhammad Shamasna from the Palestinian National Security Services

Anwar Mustafa from the Palestinian Authority Military Police

Two civilians were also detained, in what may be unrelated events. The civilians were identified as Jihad Shamasna and Nour Baydha.

All five of the men detained by Israeli forces were taken to unknown destinations.

Palestinian officials said they believe the actions were the realization of recent threats by Israel to take unilateral steps against the PA, likely as a response to government refusal to sit at the peace-talk table with Israel.

The Israeli news site Ynet said the men may have been detained for their involvement in investigations against a man suspected of collaborating with Israel. The site quoted an unnamed Palestinian security sources as saying the Israel demanded the suspected collaborator, resident of Dir Istia village where two of the security officers were detained, be released unharmed.

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