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Witnesses: Israeli forces ransack home of slain Palestinian, threaten to detain 10-month-old girl

Sept. 4, 2016 12:50 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2016 4:26 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli troops stormed the town of Sair in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank early Sunday morning, where they ransacked the home of a slain Palestinian and reportedly threatened to detain the deceased man’s 10-month-old daughter.

According to witnesses, Israeli troops raided the home of the family of Fadi Faroukh, who was shot and killed on Nov. 1, 2015 in the eastern Hebron village of Beit Einun after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.

Fadi’s brother Saed told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers “destroyed the interior of the house” before they “threatened to detain Fadi’s 10-month-old daughter.”

After ransacking the home and threatening the family, Saed said the soldiers hung a written warning on the front door, addressing the family as well as all residents of Sair.

“In the wake of destructive attacks coming from your area against civilians, the Israeli defense forces and the Israeli security forces will operate with increased effort against terrorists and against anyone involved in such activity,” the warning read.
Image of letter posted by Israeli soldiers

An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into reports of the raid and threats made against the family, and against Fadi’s infant daughter in particular.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that raids were also conducted overnight in Ramallah area in the central occupied West Bank, where three Palestinians were detained -- including one in the village of Khirbet Abu Falah and one "suspected Hamas operative" in the village of Biddu.

The Israeli army’s reported threat to crackdown on Sair seemed to come as the result of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's recently unveiled "carrot and stick" policy toward Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, whereby harsher punishment would be imposed upon families and villages from which "terrorists" originate, while economic benefits would be granted to areas that "have not produced terrorists."

“We will implement a differential policy in Judea and Samaria,” Lieberman said last month, using an Israeli term for the West Bank. “Its purpose is to continue to give benefits to those who desire coexistence with us and make life difficult for those who seek to harm Jews.”

"Anyone who is prepared for coexistence will prosper, while those who opt for terrorism will lose.”

After an Israeli settler was shot and injured while driving near the illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa in July, the Israeli army claimed a Sair resident had carried out the attack, and completely sealed the entire village amid the manhunt for the suspect.

Sair saw increased aggression by Israeli forces during the siege, with clashes breaking out regularly between locals and Israeli soldiers that were violently suppressed by Israeli army live fire.

The road and village closures were not uncommon to Hebron, the most populous district in the occupied West Bank, since a wave of unrest swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October that has killed 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 that amounted to the most extensive lockdown on the occupied West Bank since 2014, disrupting the access of hundreds of thousands of residents to services and livelihoods, according to the UN, who said the measures amount to collective punishment on innocent Palestinians.

In addition to Sair, villages in Hebron which had been completely sealed over the month of July included Yatta, and Bani Naim, with some 2,700 Palestinian residents of Bani Naim having had their travel permits revoked.

Scores of Palestinians were also detained in overnight raids in Hebron, and dozens of others injured during clashes between locals and Israeli forces.

According to the UN, 50 Palestinians, including 14 children, were injured by Israeli forces during clashes in the West Bank between July 5 and 11 -- almost all during detention raids, the largest of which took place in the Hebron village of Dura, which resulted in 38 injuries.

In the same week, Israeli forces conducted 98 search and detention operations and arrested 95 Palestinians, with Hebron accounting for the highest number of operations and arrests.

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 “court-sanctioned revenge,” and represent a clear violation of international law.
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