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Hebron man 'detained, left blindfolded in desert'

Feb. 10, 2014 9:36 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 11, 2014 1:58 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained a Palestinian man and released him in the middle of the Hebron desert hours later, the directorate of education in the southern West Bank area said.

Bilal Rizq al-Salayma, 27, was heading to his workplace at the ceramics center at the Ministry of Education when Israeli soldiers stopped him, searched him, took his ID card, handcuffed and blindfolded him, and forced him into a military vehicle.

The incident was relayed to the Hebron directorate of education by witnesses and the center’s administration.

The directorate said in a statement: "We received a phone call from al-Salayma at noon telling us that he was in a barren, mountain area … It was filled with sand, and nothing near him was alive."

The directorate added: "We guessed that he was left blindfolded in the al-Masafer area near Bani Naim east of Hebron so we told him to head west, north, and south to tell us if he saw (vehicles). We asked him to head toward them before the call was disconnected after his battery ran out."

After that al-Salayma found himself in Beersheba in Israel after people helped him get to a construction site where laborers from Hebron worked. The laborers took him to Hebron, which he reached at 10 p.m.

Israel's military did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Sunday.
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