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Israeli forces detain 24 Palestinians, including 2 lawmakers, in overnight raids

March 6, 2017 3:58 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 5:02 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during predawn raids across the occupied territory on Sunday, including two Palestinian parliamentarians, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Israeli forces carry out detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a near-nightly basis, with the UN recording an average of 95 weekly raids in the West Bank in 2016, and 73 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of January, which included four members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Meanwhile, some 420 Palestinians were detained throughout the month of February alone -- including 70 minors and 22 women and girls.

Southern West Bank

Israeli forces detained two Palestinian lawmakers during raids in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to a statement published by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

The statement identified the two as Khalid Tafish and Anwar Zboun, who are both deputies of the Change and Reform bloc in the PLC.

Israeli forces also detained Hassan al-Wardiyan and Ghassan Hirmas in Bethlehem raids, according to PPS.

Also in the south, PPS said that Israeli forces detained Munjid Khalid Ashour and Sabri Ibrahim Awwad from the Hebron district.

An Israeli army spokesperson only confirmed four detentions in Bethlehem, claiming they were all Hamas operatives, and one detention in Hebron.

Central West Bank and East Jerusalem

Meanwhile, a large-scale raid early Monday morning in the Ramallah area culminated a months-long pursuit of Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj, wanted by Israel for allegedly planning "terror attacks."

Israeli forces surrounded a house where al-Araj was hiding, fired a rocket into the building, and eventually shot him dead with several bullets at close range after al-Araj ran out of ammunition in the two-hour-long exchange of fire.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al Samri also said that Israeli police, in collaboration with the Israeli army, raided and searched a home in the Salfit-area village of Bani Hassan, detaining one Palestinian and seizing a rifle.

Northern West Bank

Two Palestinians were detained during a predawn raid in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, identified by PPS as Mumin Abd al-Munim Jar Allah and Muath Muhammad Haboub.

In the northern Qalqiliya district, Israeli forces detained 20-year-old Zayid Ali Abd al-Hafith Adwan, 24-year-old Abd al-Rahim Mahmoud Muhammad Abu Suleiman, 28-year-old Alaa Samir Othman Hilu, and 27-year-old Abdullah Hussam Yousif Hawari, according to PPS.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that four Palestinians were detained in the Qalqiliya district, three in the village of Azzun and one alleged Hamas operative in Qalqiliya city.

Israeli forces also detained three Palestinians from the northernmost West Bank district of Jenin, identified by PPS as 21-year-old Hatim Abu Ali, 23-year-old Hamza Nael Ammar, and former prisoner Husni Sahwahna.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the three Jenin area detentions, saying two alleged Hamas operatives were detained from Jenin refugee camp and one Palestinians was detained in the village of Silat al-Harithiya in the northern outskirts of the West Bank.
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