Israeli Forces Detain 13 Palestinians, Summon Several Others from West Bank

JERUSALEM, July 19, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday detained eight Palestinians, including three minors, and summoned several others, mostly during predawn raids across the West Bank, said security sources.

Five Palestinians were detained from Jerusalem district, four others from Nablus district, three others from Bethlehem district and another from Hebron district. They also summoned several Palestinians from Jenin district.

In Jerusalem, police detained 14-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud after storming and ransacking his family house in the Jerusalem town of al-Issawiya.

Forces also handcuffed and detained five Palestinians during a predawn raid into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem.

The detainees were identified as Mu’ath Elayyan, Muhammad Mteir, Mahmoud Mteir, Haytham Odwan and Muhannad Kan’aan.

Meanwhile, forces detained two Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their family houses in Tell town, southwest of Nablus, in the northern West Bank.

The detainees were identified as Malek Ishtayyeh, 24, and Mahmoud Asida, 28.

Forces also raided Asira Ash-Shamaliya town and Surra village, north and west of Nablus respectively, detaining Mu’men Sawalha, 24, and Muhammad Salim, 28.

In Jenin district, forces set up a flying checkpoint at the main entrance of al-Yamun town, west of Jenin, stopping Palestinian-registered vehicles, interrogating passengers and inspecting their identity cards.

As they were inspecting vehicles, forces handed several Palestinians notices ordering them to appear before intelligence in Salem detention and interrogation center.

In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, forces handcuffed and detained Musa al-‘Amur, 16, and Muhammad Abu-Mefreh, 17, after storming and thoroughly searching their family houses in Tuqu’ town, southeast of Bethlehem.

They also re-detained a Palestinian during a predawn raid that sparked clashes in Duhesiha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.

The detainee was identified as Ghassan Zawahra, in his 30s.

Clashes erupted between Israeli troops and local Palestinian youth who protested the raid and attempted to block their passage. Troops fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades. No injuries were reported though.

In Hebron district, troops detained a Palestinian and ransacked several houses and stores, mostly during multiple predawn raids across the southern West Bank district.

Muhammad Ballut from Bani Naim town, which has been placed under complete siege over the past month, was handcuffed and detained after being summoned to the Gush Etzion detention and interrogation center.

Troops raided the Dura and Yatta towns, west and south of Hebron, storming and ransacking several houses and a local electrical appliances store and seizing recordings of surveillance cameras installed on the store.

Some of the homeowners were identified as Ayesh Zein and Muhammad al-Faqih.

This came as forces maintained a complete siege on several Hebron towns and villages, namely Sair, Ash-Shuyukh, Bani Naim and Yatta, sealing their routes with earth mounds, cement blocks and gates.

Forces also set up a checkpoint at the western entrance to Hebron city, known as Farsh al-Hawa, stopping Palestinian-registered vehicles and inspecting passengers’ identity cards.

They also continued to seal the southern and northern entrances to Hebron city, known as al-Fahs and Joret Bahlas, using metal gates, cement blocks and earth mounds.

Israel imposed a complete blockade on Hebron, the largest and most populous district in the West Bank, for the 18th consecutive day, affecting some 700,000 Palestinians following a spike of deadly attacks at the end of June and early July.

The closure has been described by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz as the largest since a massive crackdown following the alleged kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youth settlers in June 2014.

The closure, approved by the Israeli government as part of a series of larger reprisals, affects only Palestinians and not Israeli settlers in settlements across Hebron district, an Israeli army spokesperson reportedly told media.

Meanwhile, Hebron Mayor Daoud Zaatari slammed Israel’s general closure of Hebron district as “collective punishment” against the Palestinian people.