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Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in predawn military raids

May 8, 2017 10:11 A.M. (Updated: May 8, 2017 6:01 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces carried out predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank on Monday and detained at least 18 Palestinians, according to Palestinians and Israeli sources.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank city of Hebron and detained three Palestinians, identified as Munjid Nadir Qawasmeh, Seif al-Islam Qafisha, and Malik al-Natsha. Qawasmeh, the sources said, was released from Israeli custody only a week ago after a nine-month imprisonment.

The Israeli army said that four total were detained in Hebron, while "combat tools, including 16 commando knives" were also seized in the city.

Locals added that Israeli forces also searched the home of Palestinian journalist Musab Qafisha and upended his belongings during the overnight raid in Hebron, but did not detain him.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, three Palestinians were also detained in the town of Tuqu east of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.

In raids in the northern occupied West Bank, four Palestinians were detained from the village of Farun in the Tulkarem district, and two Palestinians were detained from Qalqiliya, according to the Israeli army.

Israeli forces also raided the village of Sabastiya west of Nablus in the northern West Bank earlier Sunday evening, sparking clashes with locals.

An official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, told Ma'an that Palestinian locals hurled stones and three Molotov cocktails at Israeli military vehicles that stormed the village.

Israeli soldiers responded by showering the area with tear gas and stun grenades, causing a number of Palestinians to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli police detained five Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police had detained four Palestinian minors from the Old City and the Shufaat refugee camp on Sunday night, over suspicions that they targeted Israeli police officers with fireworks near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

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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