Israeli Soldiers Detain Youth for Knife Possession in Hebron

HEBRON, February 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army Sunday detained a Palestinian youth near al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron, south of the West Bank for carrying a knife even though he didn’t pose any direct threat, said witnesses.

A large Israeli force detained 19-year-old Anan Abu Saleh when he was crossing the check point near al-Ibrahimi Mosque, when soldiers found a knife with him. Abu Anan was detained and transferred to a detention center in the old city.

The Israeli soldiers arrested Abu Saleh for fear that he would stab either a soldier or a settler.

The last few months have witnessed an increasing number of attacks carried out by Israeli settlers, including burning a teenager, running over children on high ways, uprooting trees, attacking holy sites and burning down homes. Such attacks are always met with reprisal actions from Palestinians.

Al-Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the old city of Hebron, few hundred meters away from the part of the city illegally occupied by around 400 settlers, who are protected by about 1,500 Israeli soldiers.

In 1994, Israel divided al-Ibrahimi Mosque between Muslims and Jews, when an Israeli settler gunned down 30 Palestinians during dawn prayer in the Mosque.

Israel controls Palestinians’ access to the Mosque, prevents many from praying there on regular basis and frequently bans the call for prayer under the pretext of disturbing the settlers.

In January 2015 alone, the call for prayer was banned 51 times. The Hebron Awqaf Directorate said that the policy of banning Muslims’ call for prayer is aimed at tightening the noose on Palestinians and stopping them from praying in the Mosque.