Israeli forces raid village in the West Bank, detain two Palestinians

Published March 21st, 2016 - 11:45 GMT
Israeli soldiers hold a position in a street, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, October 3, 2015. (AFP/File)
Israeli soldiers hold a position in a street, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, October 3, 2015. (AFP/File)

Israeli troops raided the village of Beit Fajjar east of Bethlehem early on Monday, storming several houses and detaining two Palestinians.

The raid took place a day after the funerals of Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Kar Thawabta, 20, and Ali Jamal Muhammad Taqatqa, 19, who were killed by Israeli forces on Thursday after carrying out a stab attack that injured an Israeli soldier near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel in the northern occupied West Bank.

Local sources said that Israeli troops raided Thawabta's house and detained his brother Muhammad, 24. They also detained Muhammad Akram Taqatqa, 22.

Witnesses said Israeli excavators escorted by Israeli troops raided the al-Mahajer neighborhood of Beit Fajjar, seizing equipment and detaining workers in the area.

Israeli forces have shut down most roads leading to Beit Fajjar since Thursday, except for one between the villages of Sair and al-Manshiya.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an all roads to Beit Fajjar were open, but that residents between the ages of 15 and 25 were barred from entering or leaving, "except in case of medical emergencies." She also confirmed that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in Beit Fajjar overnight.

Bethlehem district governor Jibril al-Bakri condemned on Friday Israeli sanctions against Beit Fajjar, noting that such actions qualify as "collective punishment" of the village's over 10,000 residents in violation of international law.

Over 200 Palestinians and just under 30 Israelis have been killed since October, and attempts to quell the violence by the international community have subsequently failed.

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the wave of attacks, but said that Israeli security measures were failing to "address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians -- especially young people."

He added: "As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism."

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