Middle East

Israel detains 17 Palestinians in West Bank raids

Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed a local shrine in Nablus, triggering clashes with Palestinians

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 01.11.2017
Israel detains 17 Palestinians in West Bank raids file photo

RAMALLAH, Palestine

Israeli forces rounded up 17 Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday as settlers forced their way into a local shrine in the occupied territory amid clashes with Palestinian youth.

In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said Israeli forces raided several homes in the cities of Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Jenin, detaining 17 Palestinians.

The Israeli army has yet to confirm the raids.

Israeli forces frequently carry out sweeping arrest campaigns across the West Bank that ostensibly target Palestinians "wanted" by Israeli authorities.

According to official Palestinian statistics, Israel is holding about 6,500 Palestinian prisoners, most of them residents of the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed a local shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, triggering clashes with Palestinian protesters.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse angry Palestinians who had gathered to protest the storming at Joseph's Tomb, a holy site venerated by both Muslims and Jews.

“At least 500 Jewish settlers forced their way into the shrine and performed Talmudic rituals under the protection of Israeli forces,” Ahmed Shamekh, chairman of the services committee at the nearby Balata refugee camp, told Anadolu Agency.

According to Shamekh, dozens of Palestinian youths had gathered to protest the move, but were dispersed by Israeli soldiers.

He said two Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, while two dozen suffered teargas inhalation.

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