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Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, West Bank raids

July 24, 2017 4:01 P.M. (Updated: July 24, 2017 5:24 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians in raids overnight Monday across the occupied Palestinian territory, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that Israeli forces raided the occupied east Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur and detained Hassan and Ismail Abu Ghannam, the father and cousin of Muhammad Abu Ghannam, who was killed by Israeli forces during clashes on Friday.

Five unidentified Palestinians were detained in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, PPS said. The five detainees were reportedly from al-Khader, Tuqu, Husan, and al-Duhesiah refugee camp.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, one person was detained in Husan, two in al-Duheisha, and one in al-Khader.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the detentions followed clashes in al-Khader between Israeli soldiers and locals protesting against Israeli measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied east Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers reportedly showered the town with tear gas canisters and fired rubber-coated bullets at the demonstrators to disperse them, and medics reported several cases of suffocation by teargas inhalation.

Also in the southern West Bank, Israeli forces detained 83-year-old politician and author Mohammad Said Midieh in the Hebron area, PPS said.

Wafa reported Midieh was detained while he was walking with advocates from the Defense of Land Committee near the illegal Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, when he got in a brawl with Israeli settlers, and was later detained by Israeli forces.

According to Wafa, Midieh, who is from the Hebron-area town of Halhul, is also a veteran leader in the Palestinian People’s Party and was arrested twice by Israel and exiled to Jordan in 1970 before his return to the occupied West Bank in 1994.

Israeli forces also raided Haris in the central Salfit district and detained a 17-year-old minor, according to PPS and confirmed by the Israeli army.

Two other Palestinians, including a 22-year-old woman, were detained in separate raids into the Ramallah-district towns of Jifna and Turmusayya, according to PPS.

An Israeli army spokesperson also said an alleged “Hamas operative” was detained in the Ramallah area town of Rantis, while one Palestinian was detained in the village of Beit Duqqu in the central Jerusalem district.

According to PPS, Israeli forces also raided Nablus city in the northern occupied West Bank where they detained a 50-year-old Palestinian woman and her son. Local media identified her as Hanan Abu Sirriya and her son as Khamis.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed two detentions in the Nablus area.

Elsewhere in the northern West Bank, forces detained a Palestinian who was waiting outside Israel’s Salem detention center, west of Jenin city, for the release of a relative being detained there. Soldiers also seized his motorcycle, according to PPS.

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. According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there were 6,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons as of May, including 300 minors.
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