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Israel forces detain Palestinian suspected of West Bank attack

July 15, 2015 1:33 P.M. (Updated: July 15, 2015 8:17 P.M.)
An Israeli forensic policeman takes photos of a car belonging to Israeli victims of a gun attack near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, June 19, 2015. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have detained five Palestinians from Qalandiya refugee camp, including a man accused of carrying out a shooting near Ramallah last month that left one Israeli dead and another injured, the Israeli army said in a statement Wednesday.

The Israeli army said that military forces, police and intelligence officers carried out the detention raid in a joint operation without saying when it took place.

The statement referred to the five Palestinians as a "terror cell" and said they had admitted to "plotting and executing" a number of attacks.

It identified the alleged shooter behind last month's attack as Muhammad Abu Shaheen, a 30-year-old from Qalandiya refugee camp.

Israeli citizen Danny Gonen was killed and his friend injured when a Palestinian reportedly opened fire on them near the illegal settlement of Dolev in the West Bank district of Ramallah on June 19 last month.

Wednesday's statement claimed that Shaheen committed a total of "six shooting attacks," including an alleged shooting that left an Israeli soldier injured on Nov. 17, 2014.

The statement did not provide details of the other attacks, just adding that he previously spent two years in an Israeli prison from 2006 to 2008 "for plotting stabbing and shooting attacks."

The Israeli army alleged that he and the other four Palestinians had together helped carry out last month's attack in addition to others.

The other four were identified as Amjad Adwan, 35, Ashraf Amar, 24, Osama Asad, 29, and Mohammad Adwan, 37, all residents of Qalandiya refugee camp.

The statement claimed that Amjad Adwan had supplied Shaheen with ammunition and was present during "several shooting attacks," without providing details.

Amar, who works for the Palestinian Authority security forces according to the statement, was accused of assisting Shaheen in "an additional shooting," with no details provided.

The statement also alleged that Asad "admitted to concealing the gun which was used in the shooting on June 19, 2015, in his house," while Mohammad Adwan was also accused of concealing a gun Shaheen used "in multiple attacks."

The five detained from Qalandiya will join thousands of Palestinians brought through the Israeli military court system each year.

If detained by Israeli forces, Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied West Bank are tried through the Israeli military court system which has full jurisdiction over the area, including areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

The international community has criticized Israeli military courts for promoting impunity for members of the Israeli forces rather than effectively enforcing the law.

An annual military courts report documented in 2011 that Israeli military courts in the West Bank have a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians brought before them, according to Israeli media.

Rights groups have also alleged that Palestinian detainees are often held arbitrarily and charged after forced confession under interrogation and use of false evidence.

The statement released by the Israeli army Wednesday gave no further information regarding when the detainees would be tried.

Comments
Tougher Laws / Deterrence
The Israeli government and army need to put a stop to this, with some more serious deterrent measure, which does not punish every Palestinian at checkpoints, so in addition to his own (jail and demolition) punishment,
Israel should toughen their laws, and deport the 10 closest relatives too !!
15/07/2015 15:32
Arnold / Canada
The shooter called into brag about what was done and the call was traced. Also I think Hamas might have had a hand in getting him arrested. A little tit for tat when the PA arrested Hamas people last week in the West Bank.
15/07/2015 20:58
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