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Israeli forces detain 20 Palestinians, including 9 minors in raids

May 3, 2017 10:03 A.M. (Updated: May 3, 2017 4:43 P.M.)
Israeli forces raid Shufat refugee camp. Jan. 17, 2017 (Photo: Israeli police spokesperson)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians during predawn raids Wednesday, according to local sources the Israeli army, and Israeli police.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that one Palestinian was detained in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and that three Palestinians were also detained in the town of Beit Fajjar, north of Hebron.

Local sources told Ma'an that the three detained in Beit Fajjar were teenage boys between 15 and 17 years old, identified as Ahmad Ziyad Deiriyeh, Yasser Zaid Deiriyeh, and Ahmad Sami Deiriyeh.

Israeli forces raided and searched Palestinian homes in Beit Fajjar for more than two hours before detaining them, locals said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police conducted raids in occupied East Jerusalem and detained at least 16 Palestinians.

In the Silwan neighborhood, local watchdog the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said six were detained, identified as Islam Ahmad al-Awar, 23, Majd Kamal al-Awar, 17, Muhammad Moussa Odeh, Ziad Ahmad al-Qaq, 24, his brother Fouad, 21, and Muhammad Ali Abu Tayeh, 22.

Israeli police also detained five Palestinians in al-Tur (Mount of Olives), identified as Salman Nasser Abu al-Hawa, 16, Ali Muhammad Abu Jumaa, 17, Nassim Youssef Khweis, 15, Omar Barakat Khweis, 19, and Mahmoud Wael Abu Labas, 16.

Israeli forces also detained Moussa Naji Odeh, 17, on Salah al-Din Street near the Old City, the information center reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that four Palestinians from Sur Bahir were detained overnight Tuesday, for being suspected of throwing rocks at two Israelis who entered the neighborhood two weeks ago.

“On April 23, two Jewish merchants arrived in Sur Bahir in a car loaded with crates of eggs and were surrounded by dozens of people who threw stones at the vehicle, which sustained damages,” al-Samri wrote in the Arabic-language statement.

The two Israelis then fled the scene. “As they attempted to escape, they hit parked cars, then fled their vehicle on foot, ran into a clinic for refuge, where they stayed until police came and rescued them,” she continued.

When Israeli police arrived, locals pummeled the police vehicles with stones as well.

After Israeli police questioned the Israeli merchants, it was revealed that they went to Sur Bahir “to make an illegal egg deal,” al-Samri said. The two were released and referred to the office of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture for follow up procedures.

In addition to the four Palestinians that were detained Tuesday, al-Samri said three others were detained for involvement in the incident earlier this week, and it was expected that more suspects would be arrested in the coming days.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 78 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of March, including 300 minors and 61 women.

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