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Israeli forces 'assault' mentally challenged man near Hebron

Jan. 13, 2014 9:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 11:12 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces beat a mentally disabled Palestinian man while he was waiting for his mother on Monday at the entrance to al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron, an official said.

The coordinator for the Red Crescent volunteers' department in the camp Mohammad Khamis said that man was waiting for his mother at the entrance of the camp when Israeli forces beat him with their rifle butts.

Khamis said that Israeli forces tried to arrest the man but residents in the area prevented them from doing so, Khamis said.

He added that an ambulance arrived at the scene but Israeli forces prevented them from reaching the wounded man.

As a result, clashes broke out as Palestinians threw rocks at the Israeli soldiers and occupation forces responded with tear gas.

Eight protesters suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation as a result of the clashes and were treated on the spot.

It was unclear what provoked the attack on the mentally disabled man.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the incident "did not happen."

Al-Arrub refugee camp is located on the Hebron-Jerusalem road, immediately south of the Gush Etzion Israeli settlement block and beside an Israeli checkpoint.

The Israeli checkpoint has made the area the site of frequent protests against the Israeli occupation, and Israeli forces regularly raid the camp and detain local youths.

There are 19 refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, within which live about a quarter of the 771,000 registered refugees in the territory.

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.
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