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Israeli forces detain mother, brother of Palestinian assailant in Kobar

Aug. 13, 2017 11:55 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2017 7:46 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained the mother and brother of 19-year-old Omar al-Abed -- currently imprisoned by Israel after carrying out a deadly stabbing attack in Israel’s Halamish settlement last month -- in the village of Kobar in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during a raid early Sunday morning.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Ibtisam al-Abed, al-Abed’s mother, during a raid on the family’s home. Ibtisam was released from Israeli prison some two weeks ago after Israeli forces detained her a week following the deadly attack. She was ordered to pay a 10,000 shekel ($2,801) bail at the time.

Israeli forces also detained al-Abed’s brother Khalid for the first time.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two detentions, and told Ma’an that Ibtisam and Khalid al-Abed were suspected of having prior knowledge of the attack carried out last month.

Al-Abed broke into a home in the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, located nearby Kobar village, and stabbed three Israelis to death. He was shot and moderately wounded by a neighbor of the victims and subsequently detained following the attack.

The deadly attack took place on the same day as three Palestinians were killed -- two of them by Israeli police and one by an Israeli settler -- when large-scale civil disobedience demonstrations in occupied East Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes, in which hundreds more unarmed Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces, over heightened Israeli security restrictions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Meanwhile, Abd al-Jalil al-Abed and Ibrahim al-Abed, al-Abed's father and uncle, were also detained during an overnight raid several days ago.

Almost immediately following the attack last month, Israeli forces raided Kobar, interrogated the family, and detained al-Abed’s 22-year-old brother Munir, a student at Birzeit University.

Ibtisam was detained by Israeli forces for the first time last month over accusations of "aggravated incitement" due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son's actions, saying she was proud of him and hoped for his release.

Since the attack, Kobar has been sealed by Israeli forces, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that the al-Abed family home be demolished by Israeli forces as a punitive measure against the family.

Other Israeli ministers have demanded that al-Abed be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only carried out the death penalty once since the state was established almost 70 years ago. The man executed at the time was Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal who played a major role in organizing the Holocaust.

Rights groups have often called Israeli responses to Palestinian attacks a form of “collective punishment” by punishing family members and entire communities that are not accused of wrongdoing.
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