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Israel detains 3 Al-Aqsa Brigades members

June 27, 2013 10:56 A.M. (Updated: June 28, 2013 3:04 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained three Al-Aqsa Brigades members in the northern West Bank district of Nablus as they searched for weapons, locals said.

An Al-Aqsa Brigades source said forces detained Samer Ayran, 33, Ghassan Abed al-Haq, 20, and Alam al-Qarm, 35, a Fatah secretary, in the Jabal al-Shamali area in Nablus City.

The source said they had recently been granted an exemption from arrest by Israel under a deal with the Palestinian Authority signed in 2007, giving Palestinian fighters immunity in exchange for renouncing violence and giving up arms.

Locals said that the army was searching for weapons that were still in their possession, which would constitute a violation of the terms of the agreement.

The source said no weapons were found during the raid while an Israeli military spokeswoman said a gun and ammunition was found.

The army later issued a statement saying it had found "two pistols, parts of an M16 rifle, over 100 ammunition clips, different kinds of ammunition, and other military equipment."

The army also raided the homes of several Al-Aqsa Brigades affiliates in search of weapons, including Nasser al-Kharaz, Shadi al-Shakhel, Mazen al-Danbak and Ali Salameh, locals said.

In May, clashes broke out in the Jenin refugee camp after a similar operation, in which two exempt Al-Aqsa Brigades affiliates were detained.

Meanwhile, 19 Palestinians were detained overnight by Israeli forces across the West Bank. The Israeli army did not elaborate further on the reason for the higher than average number of detentions.

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