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Israeli forces assault, detain human rights lawyer in Hebron

Feb. 26, 2016 10:12 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2016 4:25 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday detained a director for the Independent Commission for Human Rights during a peaceful protest marking the 22nd anniversary of the Ibrahimi mosque massacre.

The ICHR said in a statement that Israeli forces assaulted then detained Farid al-Atrash, a lawyer, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

The organization called the violence used against al-Atrash "a crime," and said it was following up on the matter with lawyers and the Palestinian military liaison office in Hebron.

Al-Atrash was participating in a protest commemorating the 22 years since extremist American-born Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim worshipers killing 29 and injuring more than 120 in the Ibrahimi mosque in 1994.

The demonstration also called for the re-opening of al-Shuhada street, which was shut down soon after the massacre.

Amnesty International earlier this week slammed Israel for maintaining “severe and discriminatory restrictions on movement” that were imposed on Palestinian residents of Hebron after the massacre, while allowing Israeli settlers free access.

Increased military presence has spread across the Hebron district since October, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reporting higher restrictions in the district than any other area across the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israeli military checkpoints were set up at the entrances to many Hebron-district villages, and residents reported harassment, arbitrary detentions, an increase in traffic, and curfews.

Areas of Hebron’s Old City -- where the Ibrahimi mosque and al-Shuhada street are located -- have come under intensive military presence in particular, declared a “closed military zone” since November.
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