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Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian during army raids in West Bank

June 29, 2017 6:22 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2017 2:42 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians during army raids carried out between Wednesday and Thursday across various districts in the occupied West Bank, including the father of an 18-year-old slain Palestinian, while a raid in the Hebron district turned deadly, as a 23-year-old Palestinian was shot in the head and killed by Israeli forces.

In the northern West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that Israeli forces detained 38-year-old Ahmad Ali Issa from the Jenin district. While PPS did not state the exact village where Ali Issa was detained from, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian was detained in the village of Mirka.

PPS noted that Nidal Sufian Zarab, 21, from the Qalqiliya district was detained, while an Israeli army spokesperson said that another Palestinian was detained in Balata refugee camp in the district of Nablus.

In the village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the Ramallah district, Israeli forces detained Hassan Ankoush, the father of slain Palestinian Adel Ankoush, who was shot dead by Israeli forces earlier this month after allegedly carrying out an attack near Damascus Gate outside occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, which resulted in the death of an Israeli police officer.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in Deir Abu Mashaal.

Israeli forces had also detained the mother of 18-year-old Ankoush on June 21, in a continuation of policies implemented on the family, including the impending demolition of the family’s home, that rights group have deemed “collective punishment.”

PPS said that in total four Palestinians were detained from the Ramallah district, but did not provide further details on the additional detentions. An Israeli army spokesperson, however, told Ma’an that two Palestinians were detained in the village of Qibya and another was detained in Deir Ammar.

Israeli forces also raided the Ramallah-area village of Bilin on Thursday morning, which erupted into clashes. Israeli forces reportedly injured two Palestinian youths with rubber-coated steel bullets, while others suffered tear gas inhalation. However, no detentions were reported in the village.

Meanwhile, an Israeli army statement reported that a blacksmith workshop in the Jerusalem-area town of Abu Dis in the West Bank was raided and sealed for allegedly manufacturing weapons.

In the southern West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 23-year-old Iyad Munir Arafat Ghaith during a raid in Hebron city. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that no detentions were reported during the same raid.

In the Hebron-area village of Beit Ummar, local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awwad said that Israeli forces escorted army rabbis into the village’s main mosque, which hosts the tomb of Nabi Matta, also known as Matthew’s Tomb, sparking clashes in which one Palestinian teenager was injured.

Israeli forces detained Muhammad Khalil Abd al-Fattah Sabarneh, 32, Shihada Yousif Shihada Adi, 30, and Moussa Khalid Ayyad Awwad, 17, during the clashes, according to PPS.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that she would look into reports on these detentions.

Meanwhile, PPS noted in its statement that 45 Palestinians were detained during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, celebrated from June 25 until June 28, and which directly follows the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past year for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians -- against youth and children in particular -- who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been detained through non-lethal means.
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