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Israel detains teenage son of slain shooter, extend detentions of his other 2 children

Oct. 15, 2016 2:55 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2016 7:21 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained 18-year-old Sbeih Abu Sbeih, son of the slain Misbah Abu Sbeih, at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah on Saturday morning.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces detained Abu Sbeih Saturday, two days after he was detained for interrogation and released after a few hours.

It remained unclear where the teenager was taken or for how long he would be detained.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they would look into reports of the detention.

Abu Sbeih’s detention came a day after an Israeli court extended the detentions of his 18-year-old brother Izz al-Din until Thursday, and of his sister Eiman until Sunday, according to Amjad Abu Asab, head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners.

Izz al-Din had been detained along with his brother Sbeih during a raid in occupied East Jerusalem overnight Thursday, though Sbeih was released shortly after.

Eiman, 17, was detained from her family home in the Jerusalem district town of al-Ram the day after her father carried out the drive-by shooting that left two Israelis dead.

Her detention came shortly after Eiman had posted a Facebook status hailing her father's actions. "We deem my father as martyr,” she said in the video. “We hope he will plead for us before God on judgment day… I am proud of what my father did."

The three children of Abu Sbeih have been the victims of a larger campaign on part of Israeli authorities targeting the entire family of the slain Palestinian, his neighborhood, and the larger Jerusalem district.

Israeli forces raided a ‘mourning tent’ in Hebron on Friday, dedicated to Abu Sbeih’s memory.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers ripped down pictures of Abu Sbeih and placards decorated with political slogans before leaving the area.

Israeli forces have carried out violent raids in al-Ram, where Abu Sbeih had been forced to move back with his family after Israeli authorities banned him from East Jerusalem earlier this month.

Israeli forces also took measurements of his family's home, "using laser techniques and digging holes in the walls," in what was likely preparations to punitively demolish it.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces raided al-Ram and rounded up all family members in one room "at gunpoint and did not allow them to talk or move," according to witnesses.

Soldiers then searched every room, "damaging the family’s belongings," while other soldiers took photos and measurements of the apartments, seemingly in preparation for an impending punitive demolition of their homes.

The family also said that Israeli soldiers threatened to revoke their Jerusalem IDs.

Outside of targeting Abu Sbeih’s family -- all of his children are currently in Israeli detention, while his father, brothers, and uncles have all been summoned for detention at different points over the past week -- Israeli authorities have also launched massive detention campaigns and heightened security measures throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The violent raids have prompted clashes with Palestinian youths, leading to 20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi being shot to death by Israeli soldiers, making him the 233rd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces after a wave of violence erupted last year across the Palestinian territory and Israel.

Israeli authorities have come under repeated criticism for their response to such attacks, which routinely include carrying out large scale detention raids, limiting the freedom of mobility of Palestinians.

Their actions have 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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