ISRAELI forces on Wednesday detained at least 14 Palestinians, including a woman and a minor, during predawn raids across the West Bank, said security sources and a WAFA correspondent.
Seven Palestinians were detained from Jerusalem district, five others from Hebron, another from Bethlehem and another from Tulkarem. Forces conducted a large-scale detention raid across the Jerusalem town of al-Issawiya, detaining seven Palestinians.
Five of the detainees were identified as Adam Mahmoud, and his brother, Munir, as well as Majd Obeid, Anwar Obeid and Qusai Dari.
In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, forces raided Dura town, south of Hebron, detaining five Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses and causing property damages. The detainees were identified as Khaled al-Faqihat together with his wife and son, as well as Amir Amr, 21, and Muhammad Amr, 16.
During the predawn raid, troops stormed and thoroughly searched many houses belonging to the Sharawna, Shindi, Amr, al-Faqihat and Amayra families, blowing up some of their main doors and causing extensive property damage. In Bethlehem district, forces handcuffed and detained Mahmoud Thawabta, 19, after storming his family house in Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem city.
Meanwhile, troops raided Shweika neighbourhood, north of Tulkarem, detaining Ghanem Ghanem, 24, after storming his family house. On Tuesday evening, youth activist and former detainee Hassan Karajah, 32, was detained by Israeli troops at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ur al-Fouqa, west of Ramallah.
Karajah had been detained in January 2013, spending 22 months in Israeli imprisonment before being released on October 19, 2014. Karajah has been detained for his political activism. According to the online news outlet Electronic Intifada, Karajah, a coordinator for Stop the Wall Campaign, had been accused of actively supporting Palestinian detainees and participating in a student group affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Electronic Intifada said human rights advocates insist his detention and imprisonment is just another example of Israeli intimidation of Palestinians who speak out and work for organisations that highlight abuses by the occupation. l The three Palestinian Arabic dailies focused in their Wednesday issue on renewing provocative visits by Jewish settlers to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
The dailies also focused on Israeli Knesset’s decision to approve a new law that intends to clamp down on anti-Israeli occupation NGOs. Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that an extremist rabbi was nominated to take the position of ‘chief rabbi’ in the Israeli army. The newly nominated rabbi has allegedly advocated allowing Israeli soldiers to rape non-Israeli women at times of war.
Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam reported that the chief of the Israeli internal security agency, Nadav Argaman, said during a meeting with the security committee in the Knesset that the situation in West Bank is likely to explode in any time, despite a noticeable decline in attacks against the Israelis.
Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam reported that, according to Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli Police has always intended to provoke the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that the World Bank had transferred $30 million to help meet the urgent needs for the Palestinian Authority treasury. Al-Quds said that Egypt is preparing for a regional summit to launch the peace negotiations after the visit of its foreign minister to Israel.
• Israeli forces early Wednesday shot dead a Palestinian man and injured another during a raid into Ar-Ram town, north of Jerusalem, a WAFA correspondent reported. Israeli forces raided Ar-Ram and ransacked a blacksmith workshop purportedly for manufacturing arms. Witnesses said troops suddenly opened fire at a vehicle, killing one Palestinian and injuring another.
He identified the Palestinian killed as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 24. One of the two survivors, identified as Fares al-Rishq, 20, sustained critical injuries in his head, while the third was detained following the shooting. Israeli troops opened fire at the vehicle, which arrived at the area during the raid, as al-Salaymeh and his friends, all residents of al-Ram, were seemingly unaware of the troops deployment and raid.
An Israeli military spokesperson was reported as saying that troops ‘spotted’ the vehicle running towards them when they were conducting a ‘search operation’ during which they purportedly ‘uncovered an arms workshop’. One of the troops, who purportedly ‘felt in danger’, opened fire at the vehicle, killing al-Salaymeh and injuring al-Rishq.
She added that the third Palestinian, unharmed, was detained during the raid and taken for interrogation. Israeli troops cordoned off the shooting scene, preventing Palestinians and paramedics from approaching and offering treatment for the Palestinians. Violent clashes erupted following the fatal shooting between Israeli troops and local Palestinian youth with troops showering the youth with tear gas canisters, stun grenades and live ammunition.
One Palestinian was reportedly detained during the clashes. The circumstances around the killing remain unclear and are largely based on the Israeli version of events.
Various Israeli news outlets reported that the Palestinian man was shot dead after allegedly attempting to ram his vehicle into the troops.
Israeli online news outlet Ynet News said the second Palestinian was moderately wounded and has been evacuated to the hospital and that the alleged attempted car-ramming attack occurred around 3:30 am.
• After holding her for three months in prison, Israeli authorities released on Tuesday 14-year-old Palestinian Nuran Mahmoud al-Balboul, following a successful appeal presented to an Israeli court for her early release. Nuran’s mother and family members welcomed her at a checkpoint near the village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah, along with Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe, before they headed to the committee’s headquarters in al-Bireh.
The family then went back home in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader in the southern occupied West Bank. Nuran was detained on April 13 at the 300 Checkpoint at the northern entrance to Bethlehem for allegedly carrying a knife in her schoolbag. Lawyer Abeer Bakr said on Tuesday that the release came after the Israeli Central Court accepted an appeal presented by the committee for Nuran’s early release.
The committee said in a statement that Nuran was assaulted by soldiers when they detained her, and adamantly refuted the claim that she had a knife in her possession, saying that she was in fact detained for having an argument with a female soldier while trying to enter Jerusalem with her aunt. Her aunt also denied that Nuran had a knife at the time.
Relatives have described Nuran as bright with a strong personality and a tendency to be ‘sharp-tongued’ with Israeli authorities. Just two months after Nuran’s detention, her brothers Muhammad and Mahmoud were also detained and remained held by Israel as of Tuesday, leaving their mother alone throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The three are the children of Ahmad al-Balboul, a prominent leader in Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who was shot dead along with three other Palestinians by undercover Israeli forces in March 2008. According to Palestinians, Israel often detains family members of Palestinian political leaders in an extension of several policies that rights groups have deemed ‘collective punishment’ aimed at disrupting family life for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The two Balboul brothers have since declared a hunger strike to protest against their administrative detention, an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence. Nuran’s highly-anticipated release came just over two months after Israeli authorities released 12-year-old Dima al-Wawi from custody after she spent two-and-a-half months in Israeli prison for attempted manslaughter carried out at an illegal Israeli settlement.
She is believed to have been youngest female Palestinian to ever be incarcerated by Israel. Violations against Palestinian children in Israel’s military court system are widely documented. According to figures obtained by Haaretz from the Israel Prison Service, the number of Palestinian minors imprisoned for security-related offenses rose from 170 last September to 438 in February, following a wave of unrest that has spread across the occupied Palestinian territory since October.
Al-Wawi had been among five Palestinian children and the only girl under the age of 14 held in Israeli prisons during this period, while no Palestinians under 14 were being held prior to September, the report added. Only one Palestinian girl had been held in Israeli custody before September, while at least 12 have been imprisoned since.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, as of May there were 7,000 Palestinians being held by Israel, 715 of which were held in administrative detention.
Among the total prisoners, 70 were female and 414 were children, including 104 under the age of sixteen.