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Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem raids

June 18, 2017 5:29 P.M. (Updated: June 18, 2017 5:29 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 18 Palestinians in military raids across the occupied territory between Saturday night and midday Sunday.

The Israeli army told Ma’an that three Palestinians were detained in an overnight raid in the village of al-Mughayyir, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank. A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) identified two of the detainees as Bahaa Usama Abu Alia and Amir Atif Abu Alia.  

The army spokesperson also said that one Palestinian was detained in the town of Abu Dis in the central Jerusalem district, identified by PPS as Muataz Jafal. 

In village of Husan in the southern Bethlehem district, the Israeli army said it detained three Palestinians, two of whom were identified by PPS 24-year-old Uday Atif Taamra and 19-year-old Muhannad Atiyeh Taamra.

The PPS statement also highlighted that Israeli police forces detained at least six Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem before dawn, saying that most of them were minors.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian houses in Jerusalem’s Old City overnight, confirming that six Palestinians were detained, five of them under the age of 18.

She said the six detainees were suspected of "nationally motivated crimes," including arson attacks, as well as throwing stones, fireworks, and Molotov cocktails at “a Jewish house” in the Muslim neighborhood of the Old City, and other similar incidents over the past few weeks.  

According to al-Samri, the attacks -- “apparently” conducted to coerce the inhabitants of the house to leave -- caused material damages, but no injuries. 

The raid in the Old City came amid a fierce crackdown on Palestinians across occupied East Jerusalem in the wake of a deadly attack Friday night, and was followed by a violent raid into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Sunday morning when Israeli police beat a number of Muslim worshipers with batons, and detained at least two Palestinians. 

The PPS statement also mentioned that on Sunday, 42-year-old Inaya Ahmad Ata was detained during a violent raid into Deir Abu Mashaal northwest of Ramallah, which came after the village was placed under blockade following the attack, which was carried out by three residents of the village. 

PPS highlighted that the woman is the wife of Saleh Ata, a Palestinian prisoner serving a 21-year sentence in Israeli prison. Locals said that two men were also detained during the raid in Deir Abu Mashaal, in which two Palestinians were shot and injured.  

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld also released a statement Sunday, saying that widespread campaigns were conducted over the weekend, when Palestinian vehicles were searched at checkpoints as “police looked for suspects involved in terrorist activity,” resulting in the detention of two Palestinians from Ramallah for alleged possession of an illegal weapon.  

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

Israeli authorities carried out an average of 95 army raids a week in Palestinian communities since the beginning of the year, according to United Nations documentation.  

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison as of May.  
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