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Israeli forces detain Palestinian lawmaker, at least 22 others

Jan. 28, 2016 9:43 A.M. (Updated: May 30, 2017 11:47 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tair and at least 22 others from across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during raids carried out early Thursday.

The head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, Amjad Abu Asab, told Ma’an that Abu Tair, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was detained from his home in the neighborhood of Kafr Aqab north of occupied East Jerusalem.

The Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights condemned Abu Tair’s detention, with the head of the center Fouad al-Khafsh calling the detention raid a “war crime.”

The 65-year-old MP has spent at least 32 years in Israeli prison previously, and saw his permanent residency status in Jerusalem revoked on Oct. 8, 2010 after five months of detention.

He joins at least six other members of PLC members held in Israeli prisons including Hatim Qafisha, a Hamas-affiliated MP who was detained on Sunday.

Seven other Palestinians were detained from the Jerusalem area, several of whom were minors.

Abu Asab identified four detainees as Nabil Abd al-Latif, Mahmoud Nasser, Muhammad al-Deisi and Shadi Attiyeh, a minor, who were detained from the the Old City, Kafr Aqab and al-Issawiya neighborhoods.

A lawyer for prisoners rights group NGO Addameer, Muhammad Mahmoud, meanwhile identified three detainees as Tamer Bay, 14, and Akram Mustafa, 15, from al-Issawiya and Khalil Issa, 15, from Shufat.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two people were detained in Kafr Aqab, saying they were “Hamas terror operatives.”

Israeli forces also carried out predawn detention raids across towns and villages in the West Bank, detaining at least 13 Palestinians.

Locals from the Beit Umra neighbourhood in the Hebron-area town of Yatta told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the area and detained Tareq Anwar Idies and Muhammad Rasmi al-Imor, adding that three others were also detained from the Hebron area.

Locals said that the home of Amjad al-Jundi, a resident of the neighborhood, was ransacked by Israeli soldiers who forced members of his family to wait outside in cold weather during a search.

Forces also raided the village of Tuqu southeast of Bethlehem overnight and detained Muhammad Ibrahim Suleiman al-Shair, 21, a third year law student at the al-Quds University in Abu Dis.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an five detentions in the Hebron area, adding that three were detained in the Ramallah area, two near Bethlehem, two near Nablus, and one northeast of Tulkarem.

The Israeli army spokesperson said that all were detained in the West Bank over suspicions of “illegal activities” and of being “Hamas operatives.”

According to prisoner’s rights organization Addameer, at least 6,800 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisoners in December, including five members of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Palestinian legislative council and 470 minors.
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