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Israeli forces detain 5 in Hebron, nearby village remains partially blockaded

July 16, 2016 6:22 P.M. (Updated: July 18, 2016 7:24 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from the Hebron district in overnight and predawn raids Saturday.

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers raided the towns of Sair north of Hebron and Dura to the west of the city late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Israeli forces reportedly detained Hayran Jaradat -- brother of Arif Jaradat, the young Palestinian with Down syndrome who was shot and killed by Israeli forces last month -- from his house in Sair on Saturday morning.

The detainees from the town of Dura were identified as Izz al-Din Said Talahma, Salim Mousa Shadid, Mousa Abd al-Majdi Shadid, and Ali Shihda Hroub.

Local sources added that three entrances to Sair remained closed Saturday, entering the sixth day of a blockade to the town.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention Saturday morning in Sair, and said they were looking into reports of ongoing road closures.

Israeli forces have continued to impose general closures throughout Hebron, the largest and most populous district in the occupied West Bank, amid a widespread manhunt for gunmen in two shooting incidents in the district.

In the wake of a fatal shooting attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Otniel in Hebron on July 1, the town of Yatta in the south was sealed, leaving commuters with journeys of over two hours just to find a way out of the village.

The attack occurred within 48 hours of a deadly stabbing attack as well as an alleged attempted attack carried out by residents of the village of Bani Naim in Hebron -- both were immediately shot dead in each incident. Bani Naim was also completely sealed.

An Israeli was shot and injured in his car on June 10 near the Hebron-area settlement Teqoa, after which the village of Sair was also placed under blockade.

The recent road and village closures are not uncommon to Hebron since a wave of unrest swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October that has killed more than 220 Palestinians and some 32 Israelis.

The Hebron area in particular has grown 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.

Palestinian government spokesperson Yousif al-Mahmoud last week called on the international community to intervene to pressure Israeli forces to lift the punitive siege on Hebron and stop the “abuse” of the tens of thousands of civilians being punished by the security measures.

Al-Mahmoud also deemed Israeli actions in Hebron to be “collective punishment,” which he said were in line with the Israeli government's official policy against the Palestinian people, in a grave violation of all international laws and conventions.

The spokesperson reiterated that Israel, by continuing its "abhorrent" policies under various pretexts, such as alleged security concerns, could not hide the fact that the Israeli occupation was the main reason for the continuing tensions and instability in the region.
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