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Teens detained by soldiers after being assaulted by Hebron settlers

Aug. 2, 2014 6:09 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 3, 2014 8:03 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces assaulted and detained two teens after they were attacked by settlers near the Ibrahimi mosque in the Old City of Hebron late Friday.

A Palestinian who lives near the mosque told Ma'an that "Israeli forces last night detained Mutaz Adnan Qfeisheh, 14, and Muhammad Hussein al-Sharif, 14, after a group of settlers assaulted them."

"When they tried to defend themselves from the settlers' assault, soldiers beat them, detained them and took them to the Israeli police (station)," Najeh al-Muhtaseb added,

"The police said they will interrogate the children and then release them."

Al-Muhtaseb added that the two were still with the police on Saturday morning, and that the police had called their parents after midnight informing them that they had to pay a 2,000-shekel fine.

"Their parents refused to pay the bail and demanded that they release the children. They demanded the police arrest the settlers who attacked them instead," al-Muhtaseb added.

Around 500 Jewish settlers live in the center of Hebron's Old City. The community is notorious for its frequent assaults on local Palestinians who live there, part of an intentional effort to make life difficult so that Palestinians leave and the settlement can expand.

Many of the settlers have have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants. Thousands of Palestinians have fled the area in recent decades.

The settlers are protected by thousands of Israeli forces located in the area.

A 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control.

The Israeli military-controlled H2 zone includes the ancient Old City, home to the revered Ibrahimi Mosque -- also split into a synagogue referred to as the Tomb of the Patriarchs -- and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.

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