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Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinians from Bethlehem area

Dec. 18, 2016 12:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2016 6:03 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least five Palestinians from the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem during predawn raids on Sunday, according to local Palestinian and Israeli army sources.

Locals told Ma'an that large numbers of Israeli troops raided the al-Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem and detained Ahmad al-Seifi and Khalil al-Banna from their homes.

Clashes broke out between local youths and Israeli soldiers, according to locals. No injuries were reported.

A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) identified five total detainees from the wider Bethlehem district as Soud Faisal Thawabta, 27, and Alo Hussein Deriyeh, 23 -- both from the village of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem -- as well as Ahmad Asaad Daoud and Mujahid Ali al-Sheikh. The statement confirmed the detention of Khalil al-Banna.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions from al-Duheisha, and added that one Palestinian was detained from the Bethlehem-area village of Marah Rabah.

According to UN documentation, Israeli forces conducted nearly 100 search operations and arrested around 120 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including 29 children, between Nov. 29 and Dec. 12.

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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