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Israeli forces target Palestinians over alleged 'incitement' in overnight raids

Dec. 5, 2016 5:09 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 6, 2016 10:45 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians overnight Sunday and early Monday morning during military and police raids carried out across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, a number of whom were targeted over alleged "incitement" on social media, as well as several minors as young as nine years old, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

At least six Palestinians were detained during overnight raids in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Prisoners’ Families, Amjad Abu Asab. The detainees were identified by the committee as Udayy Abu al-Saad and Muhammad Salah from Shufat refugee camp, Dawood al-Ghoul from Silwan, Jihad Amira, Amin Hamid from Sur Bahir, and Salih Mheisin from Issawiya.

According to Asab, the six young men were detained over allegations of “incitement” on social media, joining scores of Palestinians who have been detained for social media activity, as Israeli authorities have alleged that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by "incitement."

Luba al-Samri, a spokesperson of the Israeli police, confirmed in a statement that Israeli police forces stormed several neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and detained six Palestinians, saying they were “suspected of inciting violence and terrorism” on their Facebook and Instagram accounts over the past several months.

The statement added that Israeli police officers inspected the detainees’ homes and proceeded to seize laptops and mobile phones, among other items.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) also noted that Israeli forces detained six children from East Jerusalem on Sunday, identified as Qusai Dirbas, 12, Anas Mahmoud, 12, Yaqoub Dabagh, 15, Yazan Nouri, 13, Jihad Hadad, 9, and Sulaiman Kanaan, 9.

Hadad and Kanaan were released following interrogations with Israeli intelligence. However, the rest remained in Israeli detention centers.

In the West Bank district of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained Saher Nafeth Mahmoud Thawabta. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian was detained from the village of Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem.

Meanwhile, according to PPS, Israeli forces detained 27 year-old Abd al-Hakim Hamed from Ramallah at the Allenby Bridge crossing while he was attempting to return to the West Bank.

In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from the Hebron district. According to PPS, Israeli forces detained Atiya al-Zour al-Tamimi, 42, and his son Atiya, 20, while also detaining a minor, 16-year-old Anas Bilal Shaker al-Natsheh.

According to Israeli media, al-Tamimi and his son were detained for allegedly possessing weapons, noting that Israeli forces, escorted by Israeli border officials, raided al-Tamimi’s home, and took him and his son to an unknown location.

Israeli forces claimed that they had found weapons -- a gun, hunting rifle, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest -- that allegedly belonged to the Israeli army, in addition to a computer containing files that “incited” against Israel.

In the West Bank district of Jericho, Israeli forces detained four brothers from al-Jiftlik village in the Jordan Valley. Three of the brothers were later released by Israeli authorities, identified by PPS as Firas, Fadi, and Faris Jahalin, while the fourth brother Jomaa Jahalin was still being held in Israeli custody.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed four detentions in the village of al-Jiftlik.

Meanwhile, in the north of the West Bank, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from Jenin, according to PPS, identified as Loay Ziyad Zajarna, Mahmoud Abu Ein Abu al-Rb, and Mousa Abdulsalam Kameel.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that three Palestinians had been detained from the village of Qabatiya in Jenin.

Israeli forces conduct night raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-daily basis. According to UN documentation, the Israeli army carried out 252 military detention raids between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

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