Dawn raid launched on long-suffering family in Wadi Hilweh

Wednesday, 31 August, 2011 | 18:46 |  Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) —  Israeli forces launched a dawn raid on Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan this morning, in search of a young resident. Mahmoud al-Banna, 23, who has served a 22-month house arrest sentence outside the village since becoming a target of police, was not at home during the raid. He has been summoned by police and is expected to face the Magistrates Court tomorrow. Israeli forces raided the al-Banna home a second time several hours after the first, arresting Mahmoud’s younger brothers Nassem Nabil, 21, and Mohammed Nabil, 19.

Both men are due to stand in the Magistrates Court tomorrow as well. These arrests are part of a broad Israeli campaign to round up young men and boys in Wadi Hilweh, on a pretext of attacking Israeli settlers. Police have faced problems getting charges to stick to al-Banna, however, with no evidence to show the courts. A family member told Silwanic that “this latest attempt at arrest should be be surprising at all. It’s common to arrest children in the middle of the night – even to beat them, for no reason.

It is also common for Israeli forces to take Palestinians during our celebrations such as Eid. Our family has a long history of being targeted by the authorities, on random unfounded charges, supported by non-existent evidence. We believe we will be able to prove Mahmoud’s innocence.”

Mahmoud al-Banna

Israeli troops outside the City of David settlement in Wadi Hilweh, near the al-Banna family home

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