Israel launches West Bank raids

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Palestinian children flee from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the West Bank village of Burin near Nablus on 17 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Ammar Awad)

Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Israeli forces launched a new round of violent raids across the West Bank overnight Monday, Palestinian media reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an news agency that 16 people were detained for "security questioning," including seven in the Hebron district, four around Nablus and two in Ramallah.

Three people were detained in Salfit in the northern West Bank, she said.

Witnesses said soldiers assaulted 18-year-old Hassan Balalsmeh after detaining his brother Mosab. Haitham al-Khafash and Marouf al-Remal were also detained in the city.

Israeli troops threatened several families during the raid and forced them to stand in the street, locals told Ma'an.

An untold number of others were arrested during raids of al-Issawiya village north of Jerusalem, the WAFA news agency reported.

It said Israeli police broke into several houses at dawn as helicopters hovered overhead.

The village has witnessed almost daily clashes between residents and Israeli soldiers. Residents have been protesting for the release of jailed hunger striker Samer Issawi.

Issawi has refused food for about 140 days to protest his administrative detention.

(Al-Akhbar, Ma’an)

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