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Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians, seize weapons in overnight raids

Sept. 27, 2016 6:25 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 29, 2016 1:20 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 17 Palestinians overnight Monday and early Tuesday morning across the occupied Palestinian territory, as part of an ongoing campaign by Israel to uncover weapons during nightly raids, mainly into villages and refugee camps located in Area A of the occupied West Bank that should be under full Palestinian Authority control according to the Oslo agreements.

According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces raided the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem and detained three ex-prisoners, identified as Rami Fakhory, Ahmad al-Shawishm, and Mohammad Haziena.

In the Shufat refugee camp in the occupied West Bank just north of Israel’s separation wall and Jerusalem municipal boundaries, Israeli forces also detained Mahmoud Abu Khalifa, Dawoud al-Rasheq, Yousif Taha, along with other three unidentified Palestinians.

According to a statement from Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, Israeli police seized “illegal weapons” during the raid into Shufat as part of “ongoing activities to reinforce security and maintain order in Jerusalem.”

Israeli forces allegedly uncovered a rifle, ammunition, knives, and a bag full of marbles that Israeli police determined would be used in attacks against Israeli security forces.

Al-Samri confirmed that six Palestinians were detained and taken in for interrogation during the raid, “including a Palestinian who was caught red-handed for throwing a rock at Israeli forces.”

Israeli forces have raided Shufat refugee camp at least four times since the beginning of the month, each time sparking violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and local youth. On Sept. 5, a camp resident was shot dead and another was seriously injured while they drove near clashes following a raid into the camp.

Israeli forces also raided several areas of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, detaining four Palestinians identified by PPS and local sources as Ammar Abu Akar in the Ayda refugee camp, 30-year-old Muath Abu Tarboush in al-Azza refugee camp, Shadi al-Badawna in the village of Beit Jala, and Yousif Sayil Issa in the village of al-Khader.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two detentions in al-Azza and Ayda, saying both were alleged Hamas operatives.

In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, PPS said Israeli forces raided al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron City and detained Uday Nasser al-Jundi, Muhammad Nabil al-Qiq, and Amr Amjad al-Hudoush.

Local sources highlighted that Israeli forces have been raiding the camp every night for the past few days, searching and ransacking houses.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two of the three al-Arrub detentions.

Israeli media reported on Tuesday that Israel’s internal security agency the Shin Bet, along with Israeli police and military forces have conducted several raids across the occupied West Bank, particularly in Hebron, following security information allegedly received about weapons dealing and manufacturing.

The Shin Bet alleged to have found different types of ammunition, explosive devices, and parts of a locally made rifle, while also seizing 150,000 shekels ($4,0035) during the raids.

Israeli forces also raided the village of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank district of Jenin according to the Israeli army, identified by PPS as Ibrahim Muhammad Yousif al-Sweiti.

Israeli forces carry out raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis. Although UN documentation estimates that the army has carried out a weekly average of 75 detention raids in the occupied West Bank so far in 2016, the average rose to 93 weekly raids from June to August.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of August.

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