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Israeli troops detain 18 in West Bank, raid homes

Nov. 21, 2015 10:42 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2015 6:25 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained 18 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight Friday in ongoing arrest raids, local Palestinians and the Israeli army said.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the Hebron areas of Ras al-Jora, al-Salam Street, Hebron University, and the neighborhood of al-Zaytoon.

Palestinians detained during the raids were identified as Muhammad Ali al-Qawasmi, 30, Louy Faisa al-Hashlamoun, 30, Adel al-Eda al-Hirbawi, 48, Othman Sharif Abedo, 18, Ismael Tayseer Bader, 44, Ezzat Shaban al-Khatib, Nader Helmi al-Natsha, and Adam Suliman Abedo.

Atef al- Awawdah, the mayor of a joint municipal council for villages east of the city of Hebron, told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers turned the area into a closed military zone.

The area includes the villages al-Muwarraq, al-Kum, Beit Awwa, and Deir Samit, where several homes were searched by Israeli forces and clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and soldiers.

Locals reported the use of live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets by Israeli forces during the clashes. No injuries were reported.

In the villages of Beit Awwa and Deir Samit, homes belonging to Palestinian prisoners Muhammad al-Hroub and Jalal Shaher Muhammad Rayyan were searched.

Three Palestinian residents of the al-Arrub refugee camp were also detained, identified as Nael Haroun Halayka, 24, Yasser Khader abu Ghazi, 17, and Basel Yacoub Badawi, 17.

In the village of Dura, forces raided the home of Palestinian prisoner Ahmad al-Sharawna before detaining Ahmad Muneer Qazzaz, locals told Ma’an.

In the Jenin area, Palestinian security forces told Ma'an that Anas Nihad Rafiq Qabha, 21, and Riyad Hilal Qabaa,18, were detained from the village of al-Tura, and Muhammad Omar Mahmoud abu Mualla, 23, was detained from al-Milisiya village.

An ambulance driver was reportedly assaulted by Israeli forces in al-Tura as he was trying to reach a man in the village.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 16 Palestinians were arrested in the Hebron area, 10 of whom were “Hamas operatives.”

Two Palestinians were also arrested in Ramallah, the spokesperson added.

Well over 1,000 Palestinians have been detained in the occupied Palestinian territory since the start of last month.

Prisoners’ rights group Addameer said at the end of October that the “recent wave of mass arrests has resulted in a severe overcrowding” in Israeli prisons and detention and interrogation centers.

Such overcrowding has led to a significant worsening of already poor conditions, the group added, and hundreds of those detained during the time period have been children.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society said on Friday that members of Israel's prison service in Eshel jail violently assaulted Kareem al-Imor, 20, who has been detained for 20 months.

A Palestinian child was reportedly being assaulted in a transfer area of the jail by a member of Nahshon forces -- a branch of Israel's prison service that conducts searches and guards prison staff -- when al-Imor attacked the forces.

The prison service then assaulted al-Imor, the society told Ma'an, adding that conditions in Eshel jail were declining.

Increased detentions are one of several large-scale measures implemented by Israeli authorities that Amnesty International has labelled as collective punishment on Palestinians.

Other measures include road closures, sealing entrances of towns and villages, home demolitions, and invasive and humiliating security checks on individuals.

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