Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians, including 3 minors in raids

Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians during predawn raids Wednesday, according to local sources and the Israeli army.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an News that one Palestinian was detained in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and that three Palestinians were also detained in the town of Beit Fajjar, north of Hebron.

Local sources told Ma’an that the three detained in Beit Fajjar were teenage boys between 15 and 17 years old, identified as Ahmad Ziyad Deiriyeh, Yasser Zaid Deiriyeh, and Ahmad Sami Deiriyeh.

Israeli forces raided and searched Palestinian homes in Beit Fajjar for more than two hours before detaining them, locals said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police conducted raids in occupied East Jerusalem and detained at least 12 Palestinians, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Locals told Wafa that Israeli police detained six Palestinians from the Jabal al-Zaytun neighborhood and six others from Silwan, and took them to interrogation centers in Jerusalem.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on the Jerusalem raids.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 78 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of March, including 300 minors and 61 women.

Arbitrary detention raids are the target of an ongoing open-ended hunger strike in Israeli prisons that entered its 17th day on Wednesday, as Palestinian prisoners have been forgoing food to also denounce their torture, medical negligence, and the deprivation of family visits by Israeli authorities.