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Israel detains 42 Palestinians, including parliamentarian, in overnight raids

July 23, 2017 5:43 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2017 11:43 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Amid growing tension in the occupied Palestinian territory, with seven Palestinians and three Israelis killed in the past week, Israeli forces launched a massive detention campaign between Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

At least 42 Palestinians were detained in the raids, including a member of Palestinian parliament, two teenage girls, and a 75-year-old man, with the Israeli army targeting people allegedly affiliated to the Hamas movement in particular.

East Jerusalem

As dozens of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in multiple neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, surrounding ongoing demonstrations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City, Israeli forces detained two Palestinian teenage girls overnight Saturday.

According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), 16-year-old Tamara Abu Laban was detained in the al-Tur neighborhood, and 16-year-old Aala Ruweida in Silwan.

An unidentified young Palestinian man was also reportedly detained during the clashes around the Lions’ Gate entrance to the compound earlier Saturday evening, local sources reported at the time.

Israeli police statements regarding raids and confrontations in East Jerusalem made no mention of any detentions.

Southern West Bank

PPS said that eight Palestinians were detained in a number of towns in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, identified as Nidal Abu Sneineh, Yunis Kawazba, Ahmad al-Uweiwi, Noah al-Hashlamoun, Alaa al-Zaaqiq, Ismail Talab al-Nattah, Abd al-Muhsin Zaamra, and Issa Salih.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that 10 Palestinians were detained in the Hebron area, saying four were detained in Hebron city, one alleged “Hamas operative” in Sair, one Hamas operative in Halhul, one person in Khirbet Safa, a Hamas operative in Yatta, another alleged Hamas operative in Samu, and one person in Beit Ummar.

However, a local activist in Beit Ummar, Muhammad Awwad, said two Palestinians were detained in the town, in addition to the other Hebron-area detentions, identifying them as Muhammad Munir Radwan Qawqas Ikhlayyil, 37, who previously spent 12 years in Israeli prison, and Alaa Moussa Hassan Zaaqiq, who spent two years in Israeli custody.

Earlier Saturday evening, Israeli police reported that a “suspicious” 17-year-old Palestinian was detained at a military checkpoint near the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron's Old City, alleging that he had a knife in their possession and intended to carry out at attack.

Meanwhile, in the southern district of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in raids, identified by PPS as Walid Khader Salah, Jaafar Abdullah al-Urouj, and 75-year-old Jamil Yaqoub Qumsiyeh.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed only two Palestinians being detained in the district, both alleged Hamas operatives -- one in Bethlehem city, and one in al-Khader south of the city.

Central West Bank

In the central Jericho district in the Jordan Valley region, PPS said four Palestinians were detained, identified as Muhammad Nasser al-Shawwa, 22, Murad Subhi Hajj Muhammad, 42, Abd al-Aziz Jihad Safi, 32, and Shakir Hassan Amara, 57.

An Israeli army spokesperson only mentioned that one Palestinian was detained in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in southern Jericho.

Meanwhile, in the central occupied West Bank city of Salfit, Israeli forces detained a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Omar Mahmoud Matar, also known as Omar Abd al-Razaq, after raiding and searching his home in the town.

He has previously been detained by the Israeli army numerous times.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the army detained “a Hamas operative” in Salfit.

He joined least 12 other Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli custody. The last Palestinian MP to have been detained was Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khalida Jarrar, who was sentenced to administrative detention two weeks ago.

The Hamas movement said on Twitter that “the vicious detention campaign the (Israeli) occupation is waging against Hamas' leaders in the West Bank is a miserable attempt to quell our people's revolution.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that another Hamas operative was detained in the village of Nilin in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

Northern West Bank

In the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians, identified by PPS as Nidal Abu Rmeila, Omar al-Hanbali, Ali Lulah, and Muhammad Wajih Qut.

The Israeli army told Ma’an six Palestinians were detained in the Nablus area. Two alleged Hamas operatives were detained in Nablus city -- one in the Dhahiya neighborhood and one in the Rafidiya neighborhood -- one Hamas operative was detained in the village of Awarta, one Hamas operative in Madama village, and two other Palestinians were detained in Qusin.

PPS said Israeli forces also raided the northern city of Qalqiliya and detained Muhammad Bilal Daoud, Omar Atiyeh Shreim, Muath Atiyeh Shreim, Abd al-Nasser al-Rabi, and Muhammad Hashem Khader.

An Israeli army spokesperson only stated that four Palestinians were detained in the city -- two of them Hamas operatives.

Locals sources also said that late Saturday night, three Palestinian youths were detained at a checkpoint north of the city, for allegedly participating in clashes nearby. They were identified as Khalid Odeh, Hamza Jidi, and Yahya Abi Shihab.

PPS said Ashraf Mustafa Tawfiq Daraghmeh, 39, was detained in Tubas in the northern West Bank. Locals sources said another Palestinian was also detained in the area, identified as Mustafa Mardawi from Tubas. An Israeli army spokesperson just confirmed one detention in Tubas.

In the northernmost district of Jenin, PPS said Israeli forces detained three Palestinians: Abd al-Salam Jamal Abu al-Heija, Ghassan Zgheibi, and Abd al-Rahim Fakhri Ghawadra. According to the Israeli army, two Palestinians were detained in Jenin city and one was detained in Jenin refugee camp, all of them alleged Hamas operatives.
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