20 arrested as curfew continues in Awarta

[ 11/04/2011 – 12:16 PM ]


NABLUS, (PIC)– The Israel occupation forces (IOF) have enforced a curfew, escalated home searches and arrested dozens, including several women, as the attack on the Awarta village south of Nablus continues.

Awarta mayor Qais Awwad said Monday that the IOF has concentrated operations since Monday morning in the western region of village as property is damaged and women and children terrorized.

The IOF returned to the West Bank village Sunday night after withdrawing just hours earlier. Witnesses said they spotted military vehicles entering at evening. A curfew has since been imposed, and the army has declared the region a closed military zone and began searching homes as soldiers on foot were deployed throughout the village streets.

The IOF had withdrawn from Awarta earlier that day after a military operation that began the previous night, searching homes and arresting more than 20 Palestinians, three of them women. Several homes were ransacked.

The Israeli occupation army has launched an arrest campaign for the last few days affecting more than 100 women. They were taken to be investigated at the Hawara detention center south of Nablus city, where their fingerprints were taken and blood sampled.

Awarta village has been under fire since a family of five Jewish settlers was found stabbed to death in the nearby Israeli Itamar settlement more than a month ago. The IOF has taken extreme measures to search for suspects in the village. Hundreds of Awarta villagers have been arrested so far. But news sources have linked the incident to a criminal background as opposed to a political one.

A state of resentment has prevailed the village because of the lack of attention drawn to official Palestinian Authority institutions. They have refused to receive officials dispatched to the flashpoint village to protest what they called neglect by the PA.

Meanwhile, the IOF infiltrated Sunday night several towns west of the West Bank city of Jenin and arrested four minors who were later released after being questioned.

They randomly searched homes in the Zabbouba village and apprehended the minors ranging from 11 to 17 years, and then transported them to the nearby Salim military camp, where they were questioned by an Israeli intelligence officer who idenified himself as a town official. The boys were released three hours later.

Another Palestinian man was arrested in the Houssan village south of Bethlehem and taken to an unknown destination. Locals identified him as Faiz Sabatein, 22




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