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Ahead of Obama’s visit Israel detains scores of Palestinians in the West Bank

On Thursday morning at dawn Israeli occupation forces detained scores of Palestinian citizens from several cities across the West Bank.
 
Palestinian sources said that those detained had been taken from their homes in the dark. The occupation forces carried out extensive searches of the homes, damaging the properties and confiscating computers and mobile phones.

Four of the detainees from Jerusalem were seized by Israeli special forces. Witnesses said that the Israeli forces broke into 18 year old Yazan Syam’s house in Silwan. After detaining Yazan, the forces reportedly harshly beat his family members.


According to the director of Wadi al-Helwa Information Centre, Jawad Syam, the Israeli special forces also broke into the Muheisin family house in Al-Bustan neighbourhood and subjected the residents to beatings.

Activists said that the mass detention campaign was a continuation of the detentions that Israeli forces had carried out in the wake of the protests that erupted after the Israeli storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque last Friday.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Talfeet neighbourhood near Nablus fired tear gas at school students. Local sources said that 30 students required first aid treatment for breathing problems.

Sources in the West Bank told MEMO that this was the fourth time Israeli forces had targeted Palestinian schools in the West Bank this month.

“They break into schools, fire tear gas and sometimes arrest students under the pretext of throwing stones” the sources told MEMO.

In addition, a Palestinian worker was detained whilst at work at the Al-Anbatawi Company in Nablus.

Abortion of a new intifada
 
In the wake of the latest turmoil in the West Bank and Jerusalem Palestinians have increased their protests against recent Israeli violations. Journalist and activist, Ahmed al-Betawi, from Nablus said that there were two reasons behind the increasing Israeli detentions.

The first reason, Al-Betwai told MEMO, was the Israeli occupations attempt to prevent the outbreak of a new Intifada in the West Bank. “The Israeli occupation is not ready to face a new Intifada. It is preparing itself to (face) potential threats from the Syrian and Egyptian sides.”

The other reason, according to Al-Betawi, is the upcoming President Obama visit.

“Obama might oblige the Israeli government to release a number of Palestinian prisoners as a good-will gesture before the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Therefore, they (are) trying to detain a large number of prisoners.

“Then, when Obama asks for a good-will gesture by the Israeli side, they (the Israelis) are going to release these prisoners who do not pose a security threat.”

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