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Israeli forces maintain heavy presence in Hebron, detain 6 Palestinians in raids

July 11, 2016 1:03 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2016 1:30 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces continued to deploy heavily across the Hebron district in the southern occupied West Bank, detaining several Palestinians in predawn raids Monday, while clashes broke out in the town of Dura, and the villages of Bani Naim and Sair remained under strict siege.

Locals told Ma’an Israeli forces ransacked homes in Hebron City and neighboring towns, detaining at least six young men. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions were made in the district.

Israeli forces continued to enforce a blockade on the village of Sair northeast of Hebron City, which sparked clashes Saturday night during which Israeli forces shot and injured four Palestinians.

The town was sealed after an Israeli man was shot and wounded by while driving his car Saturday near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an on Monday morning that security measures were ongoing as the search for the gunman continued.

Local sources said Israeli forces broke into home of Ismail Shalalda in Sair and occupied the rooftop of his house, turning it into a military post.

In the al-Shuyukh neighborhood in eastern Sair, Israeli forces confiscated a private car and raided houses, detaining a young man identified by locals as Hamza Rajab al-Halayka.

In Dura west of Hebron City, locals said Palestinian youth clashed with Israeli forces after Israeli forces stormed the village, with Israeli soldiers showering demonstrators with tear gas.

Israeli forces detained Dura residents Ayid Ahmad al-Faqih, his son Akram, and Khallaf Jubarah Talahmah.

Meanwhile, the town of Bani Naim remained under siege for the second consecutive week. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that investigations were still ongoing in the wake of a fatal shooting attack on July 1 carried out by a still unidentified gunman near the illegal Israeli settlement of Otniel, which followed a series of attacks and alleged attacks carried out by residents of the village.

Israeli forces also stormed Hebron City and detained Malik Muhammad Abu Aisha, 32, and Abdullah Othman Ubeido, locals said.

In the wake of a spike in violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel that left two Israelis killed and three Palestinians shot dead in less than 48 hours, Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians in nightly raids, and restricted movement for tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians living in the Hebron area.

Israeli authorities also revoked travel permits to Israel for some 2,700 residents of Bani Naim amid the manhunt for the gunmen responsible for the July 1 shooting, as Israeli media said he was believed to be from the village in unconfirmed reports.

Since a wave of unrest began swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October, more than 220 Palestinians and some 32 Israelis have been killed.

The Hebron area in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with Israeli authorities severely restricting the movement of Palestinians by declaring the area of Tel Rumeida and other parts of the Old City as a "closed military zone" for several months in November amid dozens of incidents in which more than 40 Palestinians were killed.

Israel’s response to attacks -- such as punitive home demolitions, the sealing of entire villages, mass detention campaigns, and withholding the bodies of Palestinians slain while committing attacks -- has been condemned by rights groups, who have said the measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.
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