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Israeli forces raid Shufat refugee camp for 7th consecutive day

Sept. 28, 2016 12:20 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 29, 2016 1:05 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the Jerusalem-area Shufat refugee camp for the seventh consecutive day before dawn on Wednesday, searching and ransacking scores of homes and detaining at least 13 Palestinians.

Thaer Fasfous, spokesperson for the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, said that Israeli forces were heavily deployed in the narrow streets of several areas throughout the camp and raided more than 20 houses.

Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters to suppress clashes.

Locals told Ma’an that the raids were unjustified and were merely an attempt by Israeli forces to frighten and provoke residents, noting that Israeli forces were smashing through doors and destroying furniture in homes during the hours-long raids.

Witnesses said that soldiers deliberately provoked Palestinian youths who were trying to go home or leave for work, stopping and searching them, forcing them to lift up their shirts at gunpoint.

Locals in the camp identified three Palestinians who were detained in the raids as Adham al-Sharqawi, Saddam Joudeh, and Hammudeh al-Kirri.

According to lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud, 10 other Palestinians were detained overnight in both Shufat refugee camp and the nearby village of Beit Hanina.

He identified them as Bahaa Bilal Eid, Ahmad Imran Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Maher al-Mimi, Muhannad Bilal Inati, Bilal Awwad Inati, Ahmad Tartir, Fadi Eid, Ahmad Bilal Eid, Mouayyad Jabr Mheisen, and Hammudeh Jamal Abd al-Qader.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces have detained more than 40 Palestinians from the Shufat refugee camp since the beginning of September.

According to Israeli army spokesperson Luba al-Samri, a total of 39 Palestinians were detained in predawn raids in different areas of Jerusalem -- most of them in Shufat refugee camp -- for being suspected of “carrying out criminal and terrorist actions.”

Al-Samri said that Israeli police seized hand-made weapons, “incitement materials,” knives, surveillance equipment, bullet-proof vests, ammunition, and marbles she said were to be used in attacks against Israeli security forces.

Just the day prior, six Palestinians were detained in the camp during raids.

Fasfous added that Israeli forces have been targeting the refugee camp every day for a week, which has sparked violent clashes between Israeli forces and local youth. On Sep. 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 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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