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Israeli forces seal hometown of Palestinian shot dead after stab attack in Hebron

July 1, 2016 9:39 A.M. (Updated: July 3, 2016 3:20 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities implemented a closure on the town of Bani Naim in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron -- the hometown of a Palestinian shot dead on Thursday after killing a 13-year-old Israeli girl and wounding another Israeli in the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement -- town Mayor Mahmoud Manasra announced Friday.

Israeli forces raided the home of suspected attacker Muhammad Nasser Tarayra, 17, and detained his father, Nasser, before sealing the town hours after the attack.

Israeli forces closed the main entrances of the town with large dirt mounds, according to the mayor, preventing some 20,000 residents from entering or exiting the town.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the town was sealed, with only humanitarian cases allowed to cross the Israeli checkpoints. The spokesperson could not give more information on the expected duration of the closure.

Israeli forces also carried out detention raids in Bani Naim and the city of Hebron during predawn hours on Friday, as clashes erupted between Palestinian youths throwing rocks and Israeli forces shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas bombs into the communities.

Locals said that Israeli forces detained four Palestinians from Bani Naim, identified as Malik Harbi Hmeidat, Walid Lafi Hmeidat, Udayy Khalid Hmeidat and Nidal Mazen Ballout.

In Hebron city, Israeli forces reportedly detained an additional four Palestinians after raiding their homes, whom locals identified as Hisham Hmeidan al-Sharabati, Firas al-Qawasmi, Samer al-Jubeh, and Musaab al-Zghayyar ,who was detained at a checkpoint en route to Jerusalem.

A statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office on Thursday afternoon announced plans to demolish Tarayra's family's home, impose a closure on his hometown, and revoke work permits of his family members.

On Thursday night, Israeli forces closed several areas in the Old City of Hebron, reportedly in order to allow Israeli settlers to move freely through the Old City as they buried the 13-year-old girl, locals told Ma’an.

Residents near the areas of the illegal Israeli settlement told Ma’an they feared revenge attacks by Israeli settlers in the wake of the attack.

More than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis and some 31 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since a wave of unrest first swept across the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel in October.

Israeli authorities commonly implement punitive measures against Palestinians following attacks on Israeli civilians and military personnel, including imposing closures on Palestinian villages and towns, revoking Israeli-issued work permits for family members of alleged attackers, and demolishing the homes of attackers' families.

Such actions have been condemned by rights group, who have said the punitive measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.

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