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Israeli forces detain 8 Palestinians, close alleged weapons manufacturing workshop

April 9, 2017 10:27 A.M. (Updated: April 9, 2017 4:50 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians during predawn raids across the occupied West Bank on Sunday, when a workshop allegedly used for manufacturing weapons was also shut down.

Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained four Palestinians in the southern occupied West bank district of Hebron, three of whom were identified as former prisoner Rafaat al-Sharabati, Wael Qafisha, and Shadi Idriss.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed four detentions were made in Hebron, and alleged they were all “Hamas operatives.”

Israeli forces raided several other houses belonging to former prisoners in the Hebron area, including the homes of Iyad al-Jabaa, Nihad al-Jabaa, Othman al-Qawasmi, Adib al-Qawasmi, Amin al-Qawasmi, and Ihab al-Qawasmi, local sources added.

According to local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad, Israeli forces raided several districts of the town of Beit Ummar north of Hebron, and detained 38-year-old Ziyad Muhammad Bahr, 27-year-old Ramzi Ahmad Ikhlayyil, the brother of slain Palestinian Khalid Ikhlayyil, and 23-year-old Sabri Ibrahim Awwad.

Awwad said that Israeli forces also briefly detained 55-year-old Ruweida Bajis al-Salibi in Beit Ummar during a raid at her house, when Israeli soldiers assaulted her 26-year-old son Alaa, who is a former prisoner, in attempt to put pressure on her other son, 23-year-old Ahmad, to turn himself in to Israeli forces at Etzion detention center for interrogation.

Israeli forces also briefly detained and assaulted former prisoner Khalid Abd al-Fatah Sabarna, 25, during the raid in Beit Ummar, Awwad noted.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions in Beit Ummar, and informed Ma’an that another Palestinian was detained in the town of Doha in the southern occupied West bank district of Bethlehem.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces closed a workshop in the town of Sair northeast of Hebron city, and confiscated equipment that the Israeli army alleged was used to manufacture weapons, according to an official statement from the Israeli army spokesperson. However local sources specified the workshop was located in the neighboring town of al-Shuyukh, west of Sair.

Israeli soldiers posted a sign on the sealed exterior door of the workshop that said the shop was “closed and will not be allowed to be opened again.”

“After discovering that this workshop manufactures weapons and provided help to terrorist operations that affects the area’s security, Israeli army shut down the workshop,” the notice continued.

The notice also warned that “other procedures” were going to be taken “regarding people and properties involved in illegal operations.”

“The Israeli army will not allow any commercial operation to provide assistance to terrorism and will continue procedures against involved parties,” the sign added.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank. The UN recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and a biweekly average of 78 raids thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of January.

Story continues below.
Separately, Israeli police detained a 29-year-old Palestinian in the Negev region in southern Israel on Saturday evening for entering Israel without an Israeli-issued permit and for driving an Israeli vehicle, according to Israeli police.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in statement that police ordered a vehicle to pull over, but that the driver escaped from the car and Israeli police officers chased him on foot and detained him. She said that man was transporting a camel and eight sheep in his vehicle.

According to al-Samri, the man said he was from the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta during interrogation.
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