Israeli Forces Maintain General Closure on Hebron, Detain Four Palestinians in Raids

HEBRON, July 12, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday continued to impose a general closure on the southern West Bank district of Hebron, detaining four Palestinians in raids, said security sources and Palestine Prisoner’s Society.

Forces reportedly  handcuffed and detained three Palestinians during separate raids into a Hebron neighborhood as well as Dura and Bani Naim towns, south and east of Hebron.

The detainees were identified as Nabil al-Ja’bari, 38, from Hebron city, Muhammad al-Hajjuj, 20, from Bani Naim and Shadad al-Sharha from Dura.

Palestine Prisoner’s Society identified another Palestinian detained from Hebron district as Ali Abu-Hassan, 21.

This came twelve other Palestinians were detained from the West Bank districts of Jerusalem, Qalqiliya and Jenin, bringing the total to 16.

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.