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Israeli forces detain 4 Palestinians, confiscate property, in southern West Bank raids

Aug. 13, 2016 6:38 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2016 4:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reportedly detained at least four Palestinians and summoned another overnight Friday and early Saturday morning during military raids in the occupied West Bank.

In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces raided the headquarters of the Bethlehem district Zakat committee at 4 a.m., destroying its doors and confiscating six computers as well as files containing information on orphans and the poor registered with the committee, Palestinian security sources said.

Located on Karkafeh street in central Bethlehem, the district’s Zakat Committee is among committees across the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Affairs to collect and utilize 'zakat,' an Islamic tax, for the sponsorship of orphans and emergency assistance for poor families.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Bethlehem office was most recently raided in December 2015, when two safes and all documents were seized.

Also in Bethlehem overnight Friday, Israeli forces summoned a Palestinian for interrogation, identified by Wafa as Ala Awwad, who was reportedly ordered to appear before Israeli intelligence in the Gush Etzion detention and interrogation center.

In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces also detained three Palestinians after raiding and ransacking their homes in the village of Sair, east of Hebron city, according to Wafa.

The news agency identified the detainees as Abd al-Hadi Shalalda, Wahid Shalalda, and Munadel Shalalda.

In Hebron city, Israeli forces also detained 27-year-old Khalil al-Jabari, 27, Wafa reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the raids.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a weekly average of 78 search and detention raids carried out since the start of 2016, and with 108 carried out just in the previous week, according to UN documentation.

Israeli forces commonly detain Palestinians during raids without evidence of any wrongdoing, subsequently sentencing the detainees for up to six-month renewable intervals without charge or trial and based on undisclosed evidence.

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