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Israeli army arrests over 50 Palestinians released in Shalit deal

June 18, 2014 10:46 A.M. (Updated: June 20, 2014 4:03 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces arrested some 65 Palestinians across the West Bank overnight, over 50 of which were released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel in 2011, sources said Wednesday.

As soldiers entered their sixth day of searching for three missing Israelis, forces raided the Nablus district and arrested a number of Palestinians, security sources told Ma'an.

In the village of Beit Furik, Israeli soldiers arrested Zahir Khatatba, while in Deir Sharaf they arrested Luay Najih Nofal.

Soldiers also detained Palestinians in the nearby villages of Audla and Tell, arresting Falah Mahmoud Khalil, Ahmad Talib Silwadi, Taha Adel Shakhshir, Muhammad Shawqi Abd al-Nabi, Yaqub Ishtayya, Adham Shalabi, and Iyad Rifai, the sources said.

Similarly, Israeli military vehicles stormed Askar refugee camp near Nablus and soldiers ransacked several homes, locals said.

Locals told Ma'an that soldiers caused damages in houses in the camp during the raids.

In the city of Nablus, soldiers arrested Nidal Subhi Abd al-Haq and clashed with Palestinians in the Rafedia neighborhood.

Medical sources told Ma'an that a number of Palestinians were hospitalized after being hit with rubber-coated bullets and inhaling tear gas.

Meanwhile, in the Salfit district, Israeli forces detained Othman Ali Hamdan Muslih from the village of al-Zawiya and Imad Abd al-Rahman Hasan al-Ali from Talfit. Both Muslih and al-Ali had been released as part of the Shalit deal.

In Jenin, Israeli troops detained Yaqub Kilani, Arif Fakhouri, Abd al-Jabbar Fuqaha, Yaqub Kilani, Arif Fakhouri, Abd al-Jabbar Fuqaha, and Samir al-Mahroum.

Soldiers also conducted arrest raids in the Hebron district, where the Israeli army had initially focused its efforts to find the three missing teens.

Forces in Hebron detained Safwan Muhammad Uweiwi, Abbas Shabana al-Tamimi, Hijazi Kamil Hamouri, Imad Qasrawi al-Tamimi, Jamal Izzat al-Qawasami, Bassan Naim Natsha, Muammar Rashad al-Jaabari, Zuheir Mustafa Skafi, and Hazim Ibrahim Abu Nijma, locals said.

In Beit Awwa in southwest Hebron, soldiers detained four Palestinians -- Mahmoud Muhammad Sweiti, Ismail Abd al-Hadi Masalmah, Muhammad Ismail Madsalmah, and Hayil Muhammad Sweiti.

In Beit Ula, Diyaa Aziz Adarbah, Muhammad Falah al-Amla, and his son Diyaa were arrested, while Ratib al-Jubour, Khalid Mousa Makhamrah, and Muhammad Issa Makhmrah were detained in Yatta.

Israeli troops arrested Hamid Shaaban al-Hur in Surif, Muheisin Abdullah al-Atawnah in Beit Kahil, Muhammad Nasr Salamah Izreiqat in Taffuh and Nayif Hasan Shawamrah in Dura.

Khalil Awwad al-Hilou from Idhna west of Hebron was detained at an Israeli military checkpoint.

In East Jerusalem, locals said Israeli forces detained seven prisoners who were released in the Shalit deal -- Ibrahim Abd al-Raziq Mashal, Ismail Abdullah Hijazi, Jamal Hammad Abu Salih, Adnan Muhammad Maragha, Rajab Muhammad Tahhan, Alaa al-Din Ahmad Baziyan, and Nasser Mousa Abed Rabbo.

An Israeli military spokesperson told Ma'an the army arrested "approximately 65" Palestinians in the West Bank overnight.

The spokeswoman said a few "riots" occurred overnight where Palestinians were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Israeli forces responded with riot dispersal means, including rubber-coated bullets, but no live fire was used, she said.

Arrest of former prisoners released in Shalit deal

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that over 50 prisoners detained overnight were former prisoners who had been released from Israeli jails as a part of the 2011 Shalit deal.

The Israeli news site Ynet quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying "Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal."

Arresting former prisoners released in the Shalit deal is an "element with an important message that is part of a series of many actions that will continue," Netanyahu was quoted as saying.

The "goal is to retrieve the kidnapped teens and harm the Hamas movement," he reportedly said.

On Oct. 18, 2011, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Shalit was kidnapped in June 2006 by a group of Hamas members and other armed groups who entered Israel through a tunnel and took their prisoner back to Gaza the same way.

Hamas feted the lopsided prisoner swap as a major victory.

Three Israelis, aged 16-19, disappeared from an area near the illegal settlement of Gush Etzion late Thursday.

Israel has blamed Hamas for kidnapping the teens, but the Islamist movement has denied involvement.

Palestinians have decried Israel's response to the disappearance -- a West Bank military search campaign that has seen hundreds arrested, several injured, and one killed -- as "collective punishment."
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