IOF arrests minor, settlers uproot olive trees in tense West Bank

[ 12/04/2011 – 12:29 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Tensions ran high in the West Bank on Monday as Israeli soldiers raided several areas in Al-Khalil province arresting seven youths, among them a 17-year-old minor.

Four of those detainees, including the minor, were arrested in the West Bank town of Beit Ummer north of Al-Khalil, while other Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian man southwest of the city in the Al-Fawar refugee camp after searching his home. Another man was taken near his home in the Dewaya district in the Old City after being brutalized.

In a separate incident, a group of Jewish settlers raided and then desecrated a Muslim cemetery in downtown Al-Khalil near Shuhada Street as they shouted racial slurs and claimed the graveyard was situated in a Jewish district of the city. Witnesses claimed they did so as Israel soldiers and police provided protection.

The Israel occupation force (IOF) raided several other cities across the West Bank later that night. Random home searches and street patrols were conducted in Azzoun west of Qalqilya after gun shots were fired at the car of a Jewish settler near the village without report of arrest.

The IOF also set up a checkpoint at the town’s entrance and searched vehicles and used flares to search the moutain areas.

Soldiers in Jenin used police dogs the following morning to search ten apartments and surrounded a home in the city’s Al-Basatein district, where they searched and questioned residents on the spot. They searched a nearby building as well, but no reason was given to why the search was being done.

Locals said IOF soldiers patroled the streets of Kafr Rai and Zabbouba outside of Nablus until early hours in the morning, but no arrests were made.

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers worked alongside IOF soldiers to uproot more than 50 olive trees in Dir Istya near the West Bank city of Salfit. Israeli authorities warned two months back that the trees were planted in a protected natural area where agriculture is prohibited.

Dozens of settlers stormed Monday the the village of Ein al-Beida in the northern Jordan Valley and began planting trees paving the way for confiscating the land and using it for the interests of the nearby Rotem settlement. Villagers possessed documents confirming that the affected area was their property.

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