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Hundreds of Palestinians detained by Israel since beginning of Ramadan

June 25, 2016 10:14 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2016 5:57 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- At least 330 Palestinians have been detained since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on June 6, according to a statement released Saturday by the Palestinian Prisoners' Center for Studies (PPCS), which said that the detentions reflected Israel’s disregard for the sanctity of the holiday.

PPCS spokesperson Riyad al-Ashqar said that Israeli forces detained hundreds in that time period, including women, children, elderly, people suffering from various illnesses, formerly released prisoners, and fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Since the beginning of Ramadan earlier this month, an entire family was detained from the village of Qusra in Nablus: Khawla Badawi Hasan, her daughter Muna and her son Mutasem were detained on Monday, two days after her husband Khalil Abed al-Haq Hasan, 57, and their son Muhammad were detained.

More than 60 children have been detained since the beginning of Ramadan, including 10-year-old Marwan al-Sharabati from Hebron City, who was assaulted and detained on Hebron’s al-Shuhada Street, according to the PPCS statement.

More than 21 women and girls were detained according to the center, including three mothers of prisoners.

Fawziya Ali Awwad, 42, mother of prisoner Moussa Awwad from Bethlehem, was detained while visiting her son in Israel's Ktziot prison in the Negev. Wafaa Salim Syuri, 46, from Hebron and mother of prisoner Samer Syuri, was detained when she appeared to meet with Israeli intelligence after being summoned. Ibtisam Faleh Dweikat, 50, from Qalqiliya, the mother of prisoner Ammar Dweikat, was detained after Israeli forces raided and searched her home.

Among some of the elderly Palestinians detained from across the occupied West Bank were Muhammad Khalil Zeidat, 73, and his son Moussa, 50, from Hebron.

The statement highlighted the detentions of Palestinian journalist Adib Barakat al-Atrash and academic Dr. Adnan Abu Tabbaneh who were detained from Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces also raided the house of Palestinian Legislative Council member Samir al-Qadi, summoning him to meet with the Israeli intelligence for interrogation.

Israeli forces continued detaining Palestinian fishermen from the Gaza Strip, with a reported total of 13 detained during Ramadan who were taken to the Israel’s nearby Ashdod port.

Meanwhile, the head of the Gaza office for the humanitarian organization World Vision International, Muhammad al-Halabi, was detained at the Erez crossing on Wednesday. A merchant, Ayat Allah Ali Sarhan, 37, was also detained at the crossing, and both were taken to Ashkelon prison.

Israeli forces also issued life sentences to six Palestinian prisoners over the course of the month.

Amjad al-Eiwi, Yahya al-Hajj Hamad, Karam al-Masri, and Samir Qoussa -- all from Nablus -- each received two life sentences and an additional 30 years in prison on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the killing of two Israeli settlers in October. Maher Hamdi al-Hashlamon from Hebron was issued four life sentences after being accused killing an Israeli and injuring others in November 2014. Shadi Ahmad Mutawe, also from Hebron, was issued three life sentences for carrying out an attack that killed two Israeli settlers and injured one other in November last year.

Israeli authorities meanwhile continued targeted campaigns against political prisoners, as dozens of prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were moved from the Megiddo prison as punishment for supporting prisoner Bilal Kayid, who began a hunger strike earlier this month for being issued an administrative detention order after finishing a 14.5-year prison sentence.

The holy month of Ramadan is anticipated by Palestinian Muslims as a time of relative calm and respite, however this year's holiday has been marked by widespread detention campaigns, housing demolitions, a crackdown on the right to movement, and increasing restrictions in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, where Palestinians were also the target of racist verbal abuse from thousands of Israeli extremists on the eve of Ramadan.
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