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Israeli forces take over Palestinian home in Bethlehem-area town

Feb. 8, 2017 11:40 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 8, 2017 4:46 P.M.)
Israeli army sniper stationed on rooftop of private Palestinian home in Tuqu
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the village of Tuqu southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank early Wednesday morning, took over a Palestinian home, and turned it into a military post.

Coordinator of public relations for the Tuqu municipality Samer Abu Mefreh told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers took over a five-floor house belonging to Taysir Ahmad al-Shaer in the northwestern part of the town, and stationed snipers on the roof.

Abu Mefreh added that soldiers put barbed wire around the house and sandbags on the rooftop, and covered the windows with cloth. Heavily armed soldiers were deployed at different areas around the house.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that they were looking into the case.

The house overlooks the main road near the western entrance of the town, near where Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters last month, shooting and killing 17-year-old Qusay Hassan al-Umour.

While the Israeli army claimed at the time that al-Umour had been the “main instigator” among Palestinian youth throwing stones at border police, video footage showed forces running towards the teenager's motionless body moments after he was shot, as he was lying in a field at least 100 meters away from the road where the clashes were taking place.

Investigations by Palestinian NGO BADIL prompted them to brand the shooting as an “extrajudicial killing,” asserting that the teen “could not have presented a lethal threat to the well-protected Israeli border police from a distance of around 100 meters, and the use of live ammunition against him was therefore unjustified.”

Following the incident, at least four Palestinian youth have been detained in Tuqu during overnight raids, while Israeli forces previously installed a military base at the western entrance to the town, periodically preventing residents from entering or leaving.

Israeli army sniper stationed on rooftop of private Palestinian home in Tuqu
Cloth draped over the windows by Israeli forces
Barbed wire installed by Israeli forces
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