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Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinian youths in Silwan

Jan. 11, 2015 1:49 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2015 2:06 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police forces detained seven Palestinian men in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem Saturday night after a vehicle belonging to an Israeli settler was torched in the area.

Director of the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center Jawad Siyam told Ma'an that large numbers of Israeli special forces stormed the central quarter of Silwan and ransacked several homes, "detaining young men haphazardly" in response to the torching of a settler's vehicle in the area.

He identified the seven detainees as Mahmoud Jabir, Muhammad Mustafa Shuwayat, Hamzah Jabir, Hamdi Jabir, Khalid Kastero, and Faris Abu Nab and Khalil al-Rishiq.

Siyam noted that there were minors among the detainees.

He added that Israeli troops deployed in the central quarter and checked the identity cards of several young men at a makeshift checkpoint, detaining some of them for several hours under the rain.

An Israeli police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Silwan is a densely populated Palestinian neighborhood that flanks the southern walls of Jerusalem's Old City and has been the scene of frequent clashes involving a small group of hardcore settlers, the Israeli police, and Palestinian residents.

In October, a group of Jewish settlers moved in 25 apartments in the area, potentially doubling the number of settlers occupying parts of the neighborhood.

For years, Israeli authorities and existing settlers have been working to displace local residents, slowly expanding the areas around a Jewish history theme park called "City of David" where some already live.

East Jerusalem has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967 and Palestinians in the city are subject to widespread discrimination by authorities.
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