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Israel detains Palestinian activist, 7 journalists in Jordan Valley

May 13, 2019 11:10 A.M. (Updated: May 14, 2019 12:12 P.M.)
(File)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained seven Palestinian journalists and a human rights activist while covering the Israeli forces’ eviction of Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley, to make way for military exercises, on Sunday.

Local sources said that Israeli forces detained seven journalists and a human rights activist, who is an employee in al-Haq human rights organization, as they were covering the eviction of Palestinian families for Israeli military exercises.

The seven journalists were identified as Hazem Nasser, Shadi Jeraraa, Raneen Suwafta, Shada Hamad, Hisham Abu Shaqra, Khaled Badir, and Mahmoud Fawzi.

The al-Haq human rights activist was identified as Fares Faqha.

Sources added that the detainees were taken to an Israeli military camp near the village of Tayasir, northeast of Tubas.

Israeli forces evicted 15 Palestinian families, consisting of 98 individuals, mostly women and children, from their homes in the Hamsa al-Fawqa area, in the Jordan Valley.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned the Israeli detention of the journalists and the activist, calling on all United Nations international organizations to promptly intervene and demanded their immediate release.

The syndicate called on the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to provide 'real protection’ to Palestinian journalists and to end Israel’s violations against them.

Israeli military training exercises in the Jordan Valley have increased dramatically since 2012 and are one of many tools used to forcibly displace rural Palestinian communities, NGO Jordan Valley Solidarity says, part of a historic process of creeping annexation of the valley by Israel's military.

Forming a third of the occupied West Bank and with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C, the Jordan Valley has long been a strategic area of land unlikely to return to Palestinians following Israel's occupation in 1967.

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