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Israeli forces seal Ramallah-area village, demolished structures

Feb. 11, 2016 12:20 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 11, 2016 7:17 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday demolished a number of Palestinian structures in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah's Beit Ur al-Tahta village and announced a closure of the village, locals said.

Locals said Israel forces raided the village in the early morning and prevented students from attending school. Residents were barred entry or exit in the village, as Israeli forces reportedly announced the area a closed military zone.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

Israeli forces also confiscated construction equipment and demolished a car-garage belonging to a man identified as Sultan Ziad Suleiman. Four cars were inside the garage and were destroyed during the demolition.

In addition, an agricultural shed belonging to a man identified as Sheikh Thafer and a water-well belonging to a man identified as Samih Atallah Hamdan Suleiman were also destroyed.

Clashes erupted during the raid, as Israeli forces shot rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at protesters who responded with rocks.

Israeli forces detained Shaher Abdullah Moussa, Dirgham Youssef al-Barqash, Khalid Abed al-Barqash and Othman Mahmoud Othman after raiding their homes in the village, locals said.

Israeli forces also delivered summonses to several youths from the village to come in for questioning.

The closure prevents movement for the around 6,000 Palestinian residents of the village.

At the end of January, Israeli military forces sealed Beit Ur al-Tahta along with a number of other areas in the Ramallah district for several days.

Israeli authorities have frequently blockaded Palestinian villages since the start of October, despite previous warnings from Israeli army officials that closures of Palestinian villages would be a “bitter mistake” working “against Israeli interests."

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