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Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem raids

Aug. 10, 2017 5:45 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2017 6:23 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during army raids carried out between Wednesday and Thursday, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

In the northern West Bank, locals told Ma’an that Raja Zayit was detained from the Nur Shams refugee camp in the Tulkarem district. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the detention in Nur Shams, and said that the Palestinian was detained for allegedly being a Hamas operative.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had detained three other Palestinians in the northern West Bank, including one Palestinian in the village of Sir in Jenin, one in Jenin city, and another Palestinian in the Farun village in Tulkarem.

In the central West Bank, locals told Ma’an that Omar Jumaa Hammad was detained in the village of Silwad in Ramallah.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not mention a detention in Silwad, but told Ma’an two Palestinians were detained in the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit and another in the Ramallah-area Abud village.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandiya refugee camp in the Ramallah district and the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab. Local sources said that Israeli forces detained Bassel Hammad. However, it was not clear if Hammad was detained from Qalandiya or Kafr Aqab.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed one detention in the Qalandiya refugee camp.

Another Palestinian was also detained in the Rafat village in the West Bank’s Jerusalem district, the army spokesperson said, adding that he was detained over allegations of being a Hamas operative.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the offices of the Al-Quds News media outlet and the Independent Media Center in al-Eizariya in the Jerusalem district, with locals reporting that Israeli forces had seized computers, memory cards, damaged various items in the office, and confiscated the mobile phone of Rami Alariya, the center’s head photojournalist.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the raid in al-Eizariya.

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians after raiding their homes in the Old City. The detainees were identified by locals as Yousif al-Amawi, Alaa Najib, Yousif Hazineh, and Mahmoud Idris.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces had also detained Suleiman al-Sayyad from the al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem and Ahmad Sweilem from the Shufat refugee camp.

Israeli intelligence forces had also detained an unidentified “youth” from his vehicle at a checkpoint located at the western entrance of the Issawiya neighborhood, according to local sources.

Meanwhile, in the southern West Bank, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that three Palestinians were detained in Hebron city and another was detained in the village of Beit Kahil in the Hebron district for allegedly being a Hamas operative.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.

In a report released on Tuesday, prisoners’ rights group Addameer, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, and Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported a sharp increase in Israeli detentions of Palestinians, with 880 Palestinians being detained in the month of July alone, 144 of whom were Palestinian children.

According to Addameer, 6,128 Palestinians were imprisoned by Israel as of July, 450 of whom were being held without charge or trial.

Rights group have often cited Israel’s routine imprisonment of Palestinians as a tool to erode Palestinian life in the occupied Palestinian territory. Addameer has reported that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israel at least one point in their lives.
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