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Palestinian teenage girl detained near settlement for allegedly carrying a knife

Aug. 2, 2016 1:36 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2016 8:02 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained a teenage Palestinian girl early Monday evening near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, after they allegedly found a knife in her possession.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that 18-year-old Walaa Ayman al-Mahariq was walking near the Gush Etzion junction at around 7 p.m. when she was detained.

Israeli soldiers, they said, stopped the girl after she “aroused suspicions,” and after inspecting her found a knife in her possession.

Al-Mahariq, a resident of the village of al-Samu south of Hebron according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, was reportedly taken to Israel’s Ofer detention center for questioning.

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into reports.

Israeli forces detained four Palestinian youth carrying knives at the Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus on Sunday, and have detained dozens more in recent months for allegedly being in possession of knives following a spate of attacks by Palestinians that have left some 32 Israelis dead since October.

In the same period, nearly 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers. While Israel alleges many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

In fewer than two days last month, three Palestinians were killed after allegedly carrying out attacks which killed two Israelis, and a fourth Palestinian died during clashes, marking an uptick in violence after a few months of relative reprieve from a wave of violence and unrest which has swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel since the fall of last year.
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