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Israel detains Palestinians allegedly behind Hebron shootings

Feb. 29, 2016 6:38 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 29, 2016 6:39 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers stand guard near the site where a Palestinian allegedly attempted to stab a soldier before being shot dead in Hebron. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army said Monday it had detained two Palestinian brothers allegedly responsible for a series of shootings in Hebron in recent months that wounded four Israelis.

The Israeli army said in a statement that brothers Nazar Faisal Muhammad Badi, 23, and Akram Faisal Muhammad Badi, 23, "confessed" to some five shootings in the southern occupied West Bank between November and early January.

The army said the brothers had used an "improvised sniper rifle," as well as another rifle, to carry out the shootings.

According to the statement, the first shooting in Hebron's Old City targeted Israeli settlers near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron's Old City.

Firing from a building, they allegedly shot and wounded two settlers before then slipping into the nearby wedding of their cousin.

In the following weeks, they allegedly carried out another three shootings. The first on Nov. 25 resulted in no injuries, while two others on Jan. 3 left an Israeli army cadet severely wounded and an Israeli soldiers lightly injured, the statement said.

Nazar was detained for questioning on Jan. 9, and his brother, Akram, allegedly later confessed "in order to avert suspicion from his brother."

According to the statement, Akram carried out one more shooting in Hebron that did not result in any injuries and afterwards hid the rifles in a quarry in southern Hebron, before turning himself in to the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli army statement did not say when the two brothers would be tried. They will join thousands of Palestinians brought through the Israeli military court system every year.

An annual military courts report documented in 2011 that Israeli military courts in the West Bank have a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians brought before them.

Rights groups have alleged that Palestinian detainees are often held arbitrarily and charged after forced confession under interrogation and use of false evidence.
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