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Israeli forces detain 24 Palestinians, including former minister, in overnight raids

May 18, 2016 1:02 P.M. (Updated: May 18, 2016 8:16 P.M.)
(AFP/Jack Guez, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained an estimated 24 Palestinians, including a former minister, during predawn detention raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, locals and Palestinian security sources said on Wednesday.

Local sources in the northernmost West Bank district of Jenin told Ma’an that Israeli troops raided the city of Jenin and detained Hamas member and former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Wasfi Qabaha from his home.

Another Hamas leader was detained in the city of Tulkarem, identified by the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) as Raafat Jamil Naseef, 50.

The Hamas movement confirmed on social media on Wednesday that Qabaha and Naseef had been detained.

Israeli forces also raided the village of Kafr Dan in northwestern Jenin district, detaining Yousif Khalid Turkman. PPS said in a statement that Luay Nasseriddin Tafish had also been detained in the Jenin district.

In the central West Bank, Israeli forces stormed the town of Birzeit and detained Abd al-Rahman Nasim Salim, 18, PPS said. The organization added that another Palestinian, identified as Wahid Omar Tawfiq Mousa, was detained in the Ramallah district.

PPS also reported three detentions in the Bethlehem district during predawn raids. The organization said Israeli troops raided the town of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem and detained Alaa Muhammad Taqatqa, 21, also summoning Taqatqa’s brother and another teenager for questioning.

Israeli forces also detained Mustafa Jamal al-Badan, 17, and Ammar Yasser Rabaiyya, 17, from the village of Tuqu east of Bethlehem and summoned another young man for questioning.

In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained at least six Palestinians, local sources said.

A local activist from the town of Beit Ummar north of Hebron city, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, said that Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods of the town, ransacking homes, before they detained Muhammad Issa Bahar, 52, and Muhammad Yousif Bahar, 16.

Awad added that Israeli troops also ransacked a bakery belonging to the Bahar family. PPS reported that Israeli forces also detained Wahdi Ibrahim Bahar, 17.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Muhammad al-Jamal, 20, Rami Yousif al-Khatib, 24, and Izzat Muhammad al-Atrash were detained in raids on their homes in Hebron city before dawn.

Earlier on Tuesday night, Israeli forces stormed the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, detaining Adib Abu Eisha and his son Rami, 16. Family members told Ma’an that a group of extremist Israeli settlers broke into the house and assaulted family members before the two were detained.

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained Huthayfa Badir in the town of Abu Dis east of the Old City, as well as Fathi Nasser and Abd al-Rahim Barbar elsewhere in East Jerusalem, PPS said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 16 Palestinians had been detained overnight. She listed three detained in the city of Jenin, one northwest of Jenin, one in the city of Tulkarem, one northeast of Qalqiliya and one north of Ramallah.

In the southern West Bank, the army spokesperson said two Palestinians were detained west of the city of Bethlehem, one southwest of Bethlehem, two southeast of Bethlehem, one northeast of Bethlehem, and three in the city of Hebron.

Israeli forces carry out overnight detention raids on a quasi-daily basis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were currently held in Israeli prisons. Addameer estimates that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
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