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Israeli forces detain 31 across Nablus in mass raid

April 15, 2015 10:27 A.M. (Updated: April 17, 2015 2:42 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained 31 Palestinians across Nablus overnight including 20 Hamas affiliates and several former prisoners.

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that more than 50 Israeli military vehicles raided Nablus around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday without informing the Palestinian Authority until already having entered the city.

Local sources added that Israeli forces raided the Balata refugee camp, al-Namsawi area, the Asira Street, the Old City and other neighborhoods across the city.

Witnesses also told Ma'an that dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the home of Abdullah al-Aker, 32, searching the house for three hours and confiscating 40 thousand shekels ($10,078), computers and mobiles.

The following were identified among those detained Wednesday: Said Dweikat, Nidal Abu Rmeileh, Wajih Abu Eida, Abdullah al-Aker, Hussam al-Bustami, journalist Amin Abu Wardeh, Omar Abd al-Wahhab, Amjad Abu Ghosh, Muhammad Sawalmeh, Zahi Abu Eida, Samih Eleiwi, Youssef Marshud, Abu Hamzeh al-Jurf, Ziad Mreish, Amjad Zamel, Sami al-Assi, Anan Futouh, Saad Khudrieh, Mona Abu Bakr al-Sayeh, Ahmad Sawalha, Omar Abd al-Wahhab, Omar Issa Atallah, Abu Hamzeh al-Jurf, Ghassan Abu al-Baraa, Fares and Ghanem Sawalmeh, Sheikh Bassem Abu Juneid and Jasser Abu Hamada.

Most of the detainees are former prisoners.

The Israeli army confirmed arresting 29 people, among them senior figures within the movement and former prisoners detained for involvement in Hamas activity, in a joint operation which involved soldiers, police, border police and the Shin Bet internal security service.

"The arrests took place following an increase of Hamas activity in the Nablus area with the aim of carrying out terror activity against Israel. The detainees that were involved in funding and direction of Hamas branches overseas were sent to the Shin Bet for interrogation," a statement said.

The sweep raised to 49 the number of Hamas activists arrested by Israel since April 1, the army said.

The reported lack of communication by Israeli forces to Palestinian security prior to Wednesday's raid marks a violation of internationally recognized policy regarding Palestinian autonomy in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli entrance into Area A -- the approximately 20 percent of the West Bank technically under full Palestinian control as a result of the Oslo Accords -- must be taken only in coordination with the PA.

Incidents of illegal Israeli incursion occur on a routine basis, with Israeli forces carrying out an average of 75 raids a week on occupied West Bank Palestinian neighborhoods and villages.

Israeli security forces have detained over 40 Palestinians in the last week across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for "illegal activity."

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including those that make up the PLO, and affiliation with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Addameer.

As of April 1 there were 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, including 200 children, 23 women, 450 administrative detainees, and 14 legislative council members, according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society.

AFP contributed to this report.
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