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Israel detains 26 in occupied West Bank in ongoing arrests

Oct. 15, 2015 9:48 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 15, 2015 6:07 P.M.)
Israeli forces take position during a demonstration on May 15, 2014, at the Qalandia military checkpoint in the West Bank. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained 26 Palestinians throughout the West Bank overnight Wednesday amid an ongoing crackdown by Israeli authorities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that all 26 were detained for "illegal activity."

Locals identified detainees from the city of Hebron as Abd al-Rahman Fawzi al-Haddad, Muhammad Abd al-Afu al-Imla, Muhammad Ahmad al-Said, and Sharif Nasser Sabri al-Haymuni.

In the nearby town of Beit Ummar, spokesperson of a local popular committee said that Israeli forces detained Hamzeh Ayman Muhammad Neim Abu Ayyash, 17, Amir Ibrahim Khalid Sabarneh, 22, and Malik Fahmi Abd al-Hamid Zaaqiq, 18.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed nine detained from areas around Hebron, eight from areas surrounding Nablus, four detained near Ramallah, and five around Bethlehem,

October has seen record numbers of detentions since June 2014, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as Israeli authorities respond to increasing attacks and tensions in the area through methods that critics argue are collective punishment.

Since the beginning of the month, 32 Palestinians have been shot dead, 17 of whom were killed during clashes, with more than a thousand injured. Meanwhile, Palestinians have been responsible for the deaths of seven Israelis killed during the same time period, with dozens more injured in various attacks.

An Israeli police statement released Thursday reported that more than 200 Palestinians have been detained during the last two weeks on charges including stone throwing, throwing Molotov cocktails, and carrying a knife.

The Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs meanwhile said Saturday that Israeli forces have detained up to 650 Palestinians since the beginning of October, most of them younger than 20 years old.

The committee said in a statement that most of the Palestinians were detained during clashes with Israeli soldiers, or subsequently in overnight raids on the pretext of resisting Israeli soldiers.

According to the statement, many Palestinians had reported being held for hours at interrogation centers, undergoing humiliation and maltreatment. Some prisoners said that they were violently beaten during their detention.

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