Israeli occupation forces have again swept through a number of West Bank cities, detaining four Palestinians after searching and damaging their homes.
Witnesses said that a large number of Israeli soldiers entered Hebron where they detained Islam Bader, aged 18, Amer Bader, 20, and Rami Bader, also 20, from the old city. The three detainees are cousins.
At the same time, eyewitnesses in the village of Safa near Ramallah reported that an unknown number of Israeli security officers entered the village and broke into the house of well-known local activist Yasser Karaja. The Israelis searched the property, causing a lot of criminal damage after the family members refused to be strip-searched by the soldiers. Three personal computers were taken away along with mobile phones and private documents.
Locals described the incident as a “barbaric violation of personal privacy” which they believe is also a breach of international human rights conventions.
Several other neighbourhoods in Hebron and Bethlehem were also raided by the Israelis, but no detentions were reported.
Soldiers at Al-Taybeh checkpoint in Tulkarem fired tear gas canisters at Palestinians going to their workplaces in Israel. Dozens of workers were reported to be suffering from the effects of the gas. Local sources in Tulkarem said that the workers were stranded at the checkpoint as the Israeli soldiers caused lengthy delays before “arbitrarily” banning them from passing through. It was when the Palestinians protested that the soldiers fired the tear gas.
In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, there was an Israeli incursion when two armoured bulldozers accompanied by three tanks entered the northern parts of Beit Lahiya. They levelled a large area of Palestinian farmland before crossing back into Israel. Sporadic shooting was heard, but no casualties were reported. This was yet another Israeli breach of the ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas last November.