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Israeli forces arrest relatives of soldier stab suspect

Nov. 13, 2013 4:48 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2013 10:23 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday raided the Jenin village of a teenager suspected of stabbing an Israeli soldier to death earlier in the day.

Hussein Sharif Ghawadra, 16, stabbed an Israeli soldier to death while traveling on a bus in Afula, northern Israel.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the village of Bir al-Basha and arrested Ghawadra's older brother, Tawfik. His father was also detained at his workplace in Israel. The village was declared a closed military zone by Israeli forces.

Ghawadra's father and brother are currently in an Israeli hospital after being assaulted during the arrest raids. His younger brother and sister are under house arrest, locals said.

According to Israeli police, Ghawadra did not have a permit to be inside Israel.

They said he boarded the bus on the Nazareth-Afula route and attacked the 20-year-old soldier as it arrived at its destination.

Four of Ghawadra's cousins are serving life sentences in Israeli prisons.

Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, congratulated the suspected attacker.

"Congratulations to the Palestinian West Bank hero who killed an Israeli soldier in Afula this morning," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum wrote on his Facebook page.

"This is a heroic act of resistance showing that all methods of oppression and terror have not and will not succeed in stopping our people from carrying out jihad and resistance."
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