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Israeli night raids sweep West Bank

Dec. 3, 2009 10:34 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2009 5:55 P.M.)
Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli forces detained nearly thirty Palestinians in raids on Wednesday night on communities throughout the West Bank, according to local sources.

The Israeli military said that only 15 “wanted” Palestinians were detained in the entire West Bank. Palestinians reported higher numbers, including raids in at least five separate communities.

Israeli raids are a nightly occurence in the West Bank and are often Israel's response to resistance - violent and nonviolent - to its occupation. Those jailed by Israel include university students, pofessors, activists, journalists and members of parliament.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, between 25 November and 2 December, Israeli forces conducted 14 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and one into the Gaza Strip. During those incursions Israeli forces arrested 20 Palestinian civilians, including 6 under the age of 18.

Jenin: Israeli forces herd men into town square

In the village of Deir Abu Daif, west of Jenin, Israeli forces carried out a wide-scale campaign of detentions on Wednesday night. Local sources said troops seized 20 men during the raid. Thirteen were released by Thursday morning, according to locals.

Villagers said Israeli troops stormed the community and broke into several homes during the overnight campaign, forcing families to evacuate their homes as soldiers searched and ransacked them. Several dozen villagers were herded into the main square where they were questioned by Israeli officers and had their identity cards confiscated for hours.

Twenty of the men from the village were taken to the Israeli army base at Salem on the northern border of the West Bank, according to local sources. Those who remained in Israeli custody by morning were identified as: Mithqal Yaseen, 50, and his three children Ja’far, Hamza, Mus’ab all in their 20s, as well as Walid Yaseen, Ziad Yaseen, and Nabil Hijazy all in their 50s.

Hebron

Early on Thursday in the town of Beit Ummar, north of the city of Hebron, local sources said Israeli forces detained Nadim Rasem, 18, Muhammad Abu Ayyash 24, Mahdy Ady 16, and Yousef Abu Maria 17.

In the city of Hebron itself, Israeli soldiers seized As’ad Barqan, 30 after raiding his house.

Qalqiliya

Israeli troops also detained two locals from the village of Ras Atiyeh south of the city of Qalqiliya the same night, according to Palestinians in the town.

Local sources said that military vehicles entered the village and detained Othman Sedky Shawahneh and his son Muhanad After raiding their house.

Bil’in: Protester seized

Israeli forces also raided the village of Bil’in near Ramallah, known for its persistent weekly demonstrations against Israel’s construction of the separation wall on its land.

A statement from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said approximately 20 Israeli soldiers entered the community at 2am, and invaded the house of Rani Najar.

The soldiers handcuffed all men living in the house and detained them in a separate room, the committee said, and arrested Najar 23, who returned from Jordan the previous day.

Female members of the family who came to help Rani were violently pushed away, and, as the soldiers exited they left the other men in handcuffs, the statement added.

“The Israeli military are using night raids and arrests conducted by undercover army units in an attempt to crush the non-violent resistance against the Wall and settlements in the village,” the coordinating committee said.

In addition to Najar, another 29 Bil’in residents have been arrested since June for involvement in the demonstrations. Sixteen remain in Israeli jails.

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