Israeli Forces Arrest Three Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem

HEBRON, July 5, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday arrested three Palestinians, including a minor, from the West Bank districts of Hebron and Bethlehem, according to security sources.

Sources informed WAFA that Israeli soldiers arrested Mohammed Masalmeh, 17, after storming the town of Beit Awwa to the west of Hebron. He was taken to an unknown destination.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested Ibrahim, 22, and Hassan Shakarneh, 18, after raiding and searching their homes in the village of Nahalin to the west of Bethlehem.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Ministry, since 1967 the number of Palestinians arrested amounted to 800,000. As a result, more than 70 percent of Palestinian families have had at least one family member arrested at some stage, reported the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Prisoners are for the most part male and often the sole breadwinner of their families, with a significant impact on the family’s financial situation, said OCHA.

According to Defense for Children International/Palestine Section, approximately 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 are arrested and prosecuted by Israeli military courts in the West Bank each year, mainly on stone-throwing charges.

OCHA said that, “Although the Israeli military issued an order raising the age of majority for Palestinians to 18 (previously set at 16) for security-related matters, children are not treated in a manner that takes into account their age, needs and special circumstances.”

An OCHA Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 10 – 16 March 2015 said , “Israeli forces conducted 90 search and arrest operations and arrested 107 Palestinians in the West Bank, with the Hebron governorate accounting for the highest proportion of operations (23), while the highest number of arrests (32) was recorded in Jerusalem.

According to Military Court Watch website, “Most Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank are arrested in close proximity to a settlement or a road used by settlers.”

In order to guarantee the protection of nearly 400,000 Israeli civilians living in over 200 illegal West Bank settlements, the surrounding Palestinian centers of population are subjected to increased military presence that frequently leads to detention, it said.