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15 Palestinians detained in Tuqu near Bethlehem

March 10, 2015 12:13 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2015 6:49 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) – Fifteen young men and teenagers were arrested by Israeli troops in a predawn raid on the town of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem on Tuesday morning, municipal sources told Ma'an.

Tuqu's mayor, Hatim Sabbah, said large numbers of Israeli troops raided the town, ransacking several homes of the Sabbah family and detaining 15 young men between the ages of 14 and 20. All detainees were members of the Sabbah family.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army raided Tuqu to detain 18 Palestinians, 17 of whom were "suspected of hurling rocks at firebombs at civilians."

She said the other Palestinian was a "Hamas operative."

The spokeswoman said three more Palestinians were detained in the northern West Bank.

Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, usually on the pretext of security questioning.

Around 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israeli forces, according to prisoner rights group Addameer.

Tuqu lies among the Gush Etzion cluster of settlements, and is bordered by the illegal settlement of Tekoa. Of Tuqu's lands, 98.5 percent are classified as Area C or Nature Reserves, leaving only 1.5 percent as Area A.

He identified them as Sami Ali Mahmoud Sabbah, Ayyub Suleiman Ahmad Sabbah, Amjad Nayif Ali Sabbah, Mamoon Salim Mahmoud Sabbah, Ahmad Eid Atiyeh Sabbah, Muhammad Salim Ibrahim Sabbah, Sahir Khalid Ali Sabbah, Muhammad Ali Abd al-Khalil Sabbah, Atiyeh Suleiman Atiyeh Sabbah, Zakariyya Ahmad Abd al-Khalil Sabbah, Jaafar Yousuf Hussein Sabbah, Ibrahim Yousuf Hussein Sabbah, Ahmad Riyad Dawood Sabbah, Izz al-Din Khalid Sabbah and Marwan Fuad Taysir Sabbah.
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