Tuesday, May 21
Latest News
  1. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  2. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  3. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  4. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  5. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  6. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  7. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp
  8. Israeli forces attack, injure Palestinian youths in Jerusalem
  9. Germany to condemn BDS movement as 'anti-Semitic'
  10. FM to UK Parliament: Two-state solution could reach point of no return

Israeli forces storm homes, activist center in Hebron

Nov. 7, 2015 2:28 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2015 2:36 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers aim towards Palestinian youths during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron on October 4, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader/File)

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli soldiers stormed a number of Palestinian properties, including the headquarters of a local activist group, in Hebron on Saturday, while settlers carried out a range of violent attacks across the southern West Bank city.

Jawad Abu Aisheh, deputy of the Youth Against Settlements activist group, told Ma'an that Israeli forces stormed a number of homes in Hebron's Tel Rumeida neighborhood at 6 a.m., and had been holding their residents inside the buildings ever since.

Abu Aisheh said that soldiers also stormed Youth Against Settlements' headquarters, known as Beit Sumoud, or House of Steadfastness, and were holding the group's head, Issa Amro, inside, together with an Italian journalist.

A German activist had also been held there, but the German embassy was able to secure his release, Abu Aisheh said.

He said that Israeli soldiers had declared their intention to remain inside the properties for at least 24 hours. He added that Issa Amro had gone on hunger strike until the Israeli soldiers left the building.

Suhaib Zaideh, a volunteer with Youth Against Settlements, said he was aware of Israeli soldiers holding at least one family inside their house since the early morning. Soldiers had reportedly confiscated the family's cell phones and locked them in one room.

Zaideh added that Israeli forces assaulted Palestine TV crew and prevented them from documenting assaults by settlers and soldiers in the Tel Rumeida area.

The Israeli army, which maintains a heavy presence in the segregated city, was increasing their activity as thousands of Jewish pilgrims -- many of them settlers -- gathered in the city to commemorate the passing of the Biblical Sarah.

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was unable "to elaborate on current activity in Hebron."

Settler attacks

Israeli settlers were reported to have carried out a range of violent attacks on Palestinians across central Hebron throughout Saturday.

Locals told Ma'an that a group of settlers attacked homes near the Ibrahimi Mosque -- said to be the burial place of Sarah -- and verbally abused Palestinians in the city's Jabir neighborhood, threatening to kill them.

Settlers reportedly attempted to kidnap a Palestinian resident, Raafat Jabir, and threw stones at Palestinian homes in the al-Salamya neighborhood, while Israeli soldiers and police officers were reported to have looked on.

Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian property in Tel Rumeida neighborhood, at the same time as Israeli soldiers were entering properties in the neighborhood.

Um Abed, a resident of Shuhada Street, said: "We call upon the people of Hebron to help us and protect us from settlers' assaults."

She said that she had watched Israeli settlers assault and injure two foreign activists.

Clashes also erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces at the entrance of the al-Shuhada Street after a local mosque in Tel Rumeida signaled warning announcements as Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes.

Israeli forces 'complicit in settler attacks'

Saturday's events comes after more than a month of violent settler attacks against Palestinians and their property.

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday called for Palestinian security forces to be allowed to patrol in the al-Shuhada Street and Tel Rumeida areas of Hebron in order to provide "security and protection" for Palestinians against Israeli settler assaults.

Amnesty International last week demanded that the Israeli government to protect Palestinians in the Hebron area from increased attacks by Israeli settlers in which military forces have been "complicit."

Despite rising numbers of Palestinians killed by Israeli military in "extrajudicial executions" in the city, Palestinian residents told the international rights group that they feel "just as threatened by the Israeli civilians, many of them armed, living in illegal settlements around the city."

"In the space of less than a month, attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in Hebron have escalated from what was already an unacceptably high level," said Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

Luther called on Israeli forces to meet their responsibilities to protect Palestinian civilians living under occupation from settler attacks, prevent settler violence, and hold perpetrators accountable for violence.

"Their apparent failure to intervene during some of the recent settler attacks effectively makes them complicit."

"The reported increase of settler attacks this month come from a long pattern of attacks carried out with impunity, sometimes with the apparent assistance or acquiescence of Israeli forces," Amnesty said.

Send Comment
Comment:(300 chars)
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015