Palestinian teenagers seized in overnight raids

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Demonstration in London against Israel’s 51-day war on Gaza
Demonstration in London against Israel’s 51-day war on Gaza

ISRAELI occupation forces arrested 13 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids on Wednesday night – one of the arrests was south of Nablus, five were south of Ramallah, five near Bethlehem and two south of Hebron.

In the Bethlehem district, Israeli forces raided the village of Wadi Fukin and seized three teenagers – 17-year-old Ibrahim Atiyeh Manasrah, 18-year-old Majd Muhammad Manasra and 19-year-old Karim Atif Assaf.

Israeli forces raided the village of Burin in the Nablus district and detained Muamin Raji Eid, 21, after ransacking his home. Eid, a supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was taken to Huwwara military base south of Nablus.

Israeli occupation forces also detained two Hamas leaders in the Ramallah district. Israeli soldiers raided the al-Jinan neighbourhood in the city of al-Bireh and detained Fayiz Warda and also arrested Hussein Abu Kreik in Beituniya.

In the Hebron district, Israeli forces entered the al-Fawwar refugee camp and detained 42-year-old Rajih Abu Ajamiyya, 23-year-old Alaa Mustafa al-Ballas, and 26-year-old Wisam Fayiz Abdullah, family members reported.

Family members of Wisam said that the soldiers had wanted to detain his brother Muhammad, but when they found that he was not at home, they decided instead to detain Wisam until his brother turned himself over to them.

Israeli soldiers also detained Uday Ibrahim Masalmah from the village of Beit Awwa, west of Hebron.

Additionally, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in East Jerusalem overnight on Tuesday night, locals said.

A young Palestinian was also hospitalised late on Tuesday after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a rubber-coated bullet in the al-Tur neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, witnesses said.

Medics reported that the unidentified young man sustained a skull fracture, and that he was in moderate-to-serious condition.

Separately, Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian mourners during a funeral in the al-Tur neighbourhood, witnesses said.

Jasir Abu al-Hawa, 55, and his 18-year-old son Ahmad were hit by rubber-coated bullets. Additionally, clashes broke out in al-Luzah area of the Silwan neighbourhood.

Majdi al-Abbasi of the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Centre reported that a police vehicle closed the road and officers fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at residents.

Abbasi added that clashes between local Palestinians and Israeli forces broke out in the Beer Ayyub area of Silwan. Israeli forces escorted tax inspectors to the home of Ahmad Eid Abu al-Hawa in the al-Tur neighbourhood of East Jerusalem and arrested a young woman on Tuesday, relatives said.

The Israeli forces assaulted a physically disabled woman named Nadia Abu al-Hawa during the raid, and when her 20-year-old daughter Amani tried to defend her, soldiers attacked her and took her into custody.

The Israeli police are holding Amani in custody on the charge of assaulting a police officer. During the day on Tuesday a group of Israelis assaulted a young Palestinian man at his place of work in West Jerusalem.

The incident started when Islam Ubeid, 25, parked his truck in the Givat Shaul neighbourhood and stepped out for a break. Two Israelis approached him and started to verbally abuse him, telling him to move his truck away.

Then, five other Israelis arrived suddenly and began beating Ubeid with ‘sharp objects,’ hitting him in the neck several times, he said.

Ubeid called Israeli police after the assailants fled the scene. He said police arrived half an hour after he made the call. He was taken to Hadassah hospital, suffering from bruises to the neck and back.

Israeli forces on Tuesday morning detained a former Palestinian prisoner who had been freed after a 70-day hunger strike.

The Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement that Israeli forces detained Akram al-Fseisi from his home.

The statement reported that al-Fseisi was released from Israeli custody two months ago after he had served two years in Israeli gaols without trial under the administrative detention policy.

Before he was released, al-Fseisi went on hunger strike for 70 days. The Gaza Ministry of Agriculture announced on Wednesday that it will stop importing Israeli fruit to the besieged enclave.

It announced the boycott after Israeli authorities prevented vegetables from Gaza from entering the West Bank at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

‘We decided to stop importing fruits from the Israeli side to pressure Israel to resume allowing our vegetables to be exported,’ said Tahsin Wal-Saqqa, general manager of marketing and crossings in the Gaza ministry.

On Sunday, Israel prevented 12 trucks of vegetables from being sent into the West Bank from Gaza.

Two of the trucks were supposed to be sent to Jordan, and the total value of the cargo was estimated at $150,000.

The ban caused Palestinian farmers huge financial losses and will lead to a decrease in prices of vegetables in Gaza, the ministry said at the time. In early November, Israel allowed the export of agricultural products from Gaza to the West Bank for the first time since 2007.

Before the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza following the Palestinian division in 2007, Gaza exported fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and other products to the West Bank.

Israel agreed to ease the siege on Gaza in the ceasefire agreement that concluded a massive military offensive on Gaza over summer, which left nearly 2,200 dead. But so far no tangible steps have been taken to lessen restrictions.

• Israel on Wednesday revoked the residency rights of the widow of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, drawing condemnation from human rights groups.

The move came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would seek broad powers to rescind the residency and welfare rights of any Palestinian citizen of Israel or resident of annexed East Jerusalem if they or their relatives participated in unrest.

‘I have ordered the cancellation of Nadia Abu Jamal’s permit to stay in Israel. Anyone who is involved in terror must take into account that there are likely to be implications for their family members too,’ Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement.

Cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabel Mukabir, killed five people at a synagogue on November 18 before being shot dead by police.

It was unclear from the statement whether Nadia was the widow of Uday or of Ghassan.

The statement said she had been granted East Jerusalem residency under a ‘family reunification’ clause allowing residents of the occupied Palestinian territories to stay with spouses who hold either Israeli citizenship or permanent residency.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship since Israel occupied the city in 1967, despite the fact that the vast majority are born and raised in the city and trace their heritage back generations.

Israel has introduced a series of measures against the families of Palestinians involved in attacks in Jerusalem, including demolition of their homes, policies that human rights watchdogs have condemned as collective punishment.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem slammed the decision to revoke Abu Jamal’s residency permit.

‘We object to this measure. It’s abuse of a minister’s authority and a form of collective punishment,’ spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said.

‘She isn’t accused of any harm, and the revoking of her residency status will actually mean she will be banished from her home and thrown out of the city she lives in.

‘Residency and social benefits … aren’t gifts or favours the authorities bestow and can then take away. They’re essential aspects of people’s existence,’ Michaeli said.

On Sunday, Israel revoked the residency of a Palestinian convicted of driving a suicide bomber to a Tel Aviv nightclub where he killed 21 people in 2001.

Mahmud Nadi had served a 10-year prison sentence for his part in the bombing.