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Israeli forces reopen Ramallah-area village after declaring it a closed military zone

Oct. 24, 2016 12:35 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 24, 2016 7:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reopened the entrances to the town of Deir Jarir in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah Monday morning, after declaring the town a closed military zone the night before.

Israeli forces stormed the town Sunday evening and closed off all entrances and exits, just hours after two Israeli soldiers were reportedly injured during clashes with youth earlier in the afternoon, according to locals.

Witnesses told Ma’an that “fierce clashes” broke out between young Palestinian men and Israeli troops on Sunday afternoon after Israeli military vehicles stormed the town, “firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets in every direction.”

The young men, many of whom were teenagers, then responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli armored vehicles, which resulted in the injury of two soldiers.

It remained unclear the extent to which the soldiers were injured.

After the soldiers were hurt, locals said that Israeli troops set up military checkpoints at all entrances to the town, preventing the residents from moving in and out.

Witnesses highlighted that Israeli troops also deployed heavily in the town's alleys and streets, “chasing” the young men and “firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters everywhere.”

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Israeli forces carry out raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, commonly detaining Palestinians without evidence of any wrongdoing, which has intensified since a wave of unrest began last year.

According to UN documentation, the Israeli army carried out 178 detention raids from Oct.4 to 17.

Over the duration of the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot that ended on Sunday, at least 64 Palestinians were detained under various circumstances -- particularly a number of youth and minors for alleged rock throwing -- from occupied East Jerusalem and the larger Jerusalem district.

Israel detains hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone throwing every year, and Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, "93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months."

In response to stone throwing incidents that target Israeli soldiers and settlers, Israeli authorities have imposed arbitrary punishments in the form of road closures and the sealing of entire villages, resulting in serious economic consequences and restrictions on mobility for uninvolved civilians.

Conversely, Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank seldom result in any actions being taken by Israeli authorities.
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