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Israeli forces detain 3, close major checkpoint in daytime West Bank raids

April 5, 2016 2:46 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2016 4:10 P.M.)
Photo: Facebook page for al-Duheisha al-Hadith
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces stormed the occupied West Bank districts of Bethlehem and Nablus on Tuesday, detaining at least three Palestinians as well as closing roads and a major checkpoint.

Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank village of Huwwara in the southern Nablus district and forcibly shut down all shops in the town after an Israeli settler was reportedly injured by stones thrown by local youths, local sources said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a rock was thrown at a passing vehicle in the area, injuring an Israeli woman, and that the Huwarra area was "prone to rock hurling attacks."

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed the main road between Nablus and the illegal Yitzhar settlement. He added that the Israeli forces detained two Palestinian men from Huwwara.

Witnesses also said Israeli forces closed the Huwwara checkpoint, a major checkpoint between Nablus and the central West Bank, after the incident. Israeli forces had threatened to set up checkpoints outside of Huwwara on Sunday if there were any clashes with Palestinian residents of the area.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that one road near Huwarra and the checkpoint had been closed, but that it was "not necessarily connected to the rock hurling," and that checkpoints were regularly closed temporarily to "reduce crowding."

In a separate incident, Israeli forces stormed al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem shortly before midday Tuesday and detained a young Palestinian man, locals told Ma’an.

Witnesses said undercover Israeli forces entered the western part of the camp shortly before Israeli military vehicles stormed the area. They surrounded the home of Nayif Ramadan and detained his son Abdullah, 24.

The family said that Israeli soldiers searched and ransacked the house, damaging the family’s property.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of the incident.

The raids comes after at least 21 Palestinians were detained during extensive predawn search and detention operations Tuesday, which included local Hamas leaders. Israeli forces also targeted al-Quds University early Tuesday morning, confiscating and damaging university property.

Israeli forces carry out overnight search and detention operations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory nearly every night, however, raids taking place in broad daylight are less common.

Since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces have carried out a weekly average of 92 search and detention operations in the occupied Palestinian territory, according to The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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