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Israeli forces detain 14 Palestinians, including PLC member, in West Bank raids

June 28, 2017 11:56 A.M. (Updated: June 28, 2017 8:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 14 Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn Wednesday, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), who joined 11 other Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli custody.

Locals in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron said that Israeli forces detained Hamas-affiliated PLC member Muhammad Maher Badr, as well as former prisoner Sheikh Maher Qafisheh, Shadi Abd al-Hakim al-Atrash, and Muhannad Asaad al-Tawil.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the four detentions in  Hebron city, and claimed two of the detainees were “Hamas operatives,” presumably referring to Badr and one of the others.

Following the release of member of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc Muhammad Abu Tir from Israeli prison last month, the Palestinian Prisoners' Center for Studies reported that the number of "abducted Palestinian legislators” dropped to 11.

Israel considers the majority of Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations." As a result, most Palestinians who participate in the political arena in the occupied Palestinian territory risk being imprisoned by Israeli authorities.

Meanwhile, in the town of Idhna east of Hebron city, Israeli forces detained former prisoner Hamza Jibril al-Jiawi, which was confirmed by the Israeli army.

Israeli forces also raided the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern Bethlehem district, a day after a violent military raid there resulted in the injury of eight locals, including six who were shot by soldiers in the legs with live ammunition.

Israeli troops returned to al-Duheisha early Wednesday morning, raided several shops in the camp, and confiscated recordings from surveillance cameras, sparking clashes between locals and soldiers, locals told Ma’an. No one was reported to be detained.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the raid.

In the central occupied West Bank, locals in al-Mughayyir said that Abd al-Rahman Abu Alia was detained after Israeli forces raided the town.

The Israeli army raided al-Mughayyir earlier on Tuesday afternoon to deliver demolition orders to an number of homes in the village, sparking clashes between locals and soldiers, which reportedly left one Palestinian injured while another was detained.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that one person was detained in al-Mughayyir during the overnight raid, and also reported that elsewhere in the Ramallah district, three Palestinians were detained in al-Ram and one in Deir Abu Mashaal.

Local sources in Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank said Israeli forces detained Jihad Shalabi during a predawn raid. According to the Israeli army, two people were detained in the city, both of them “Hamas operatives.”

The army spokesperson also said that two other Palestinians were detained in the wider Tulkarem district overnight -- one in the town of Iktaba and one in the town of Shweika.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a weekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course 2016, according to UN documentation. Between June 13 and 19, the UN recorded 74 such raids.

Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal injuries.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there were 6,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons as of May.
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