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Video: Israeli forces beat, detain Palestinian released from PA prison

Image of a prison cells [Derek Key/Flickr]
Prison cells, 20 June 2016 [Derek Key/Flickr]

Israeli forces detained at least three Palestinians during predawn raids today carried out across the occupied West Bank, including a man who had led a hunger strike in a Palestinian Authority prison last month, whose violent beating by Israeli forces during his detention was caught on video.

Israeli media reported that Israeli forces found a locally made M-16 in the town of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, and detained a youth. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed a detention in Qabatiya to Ma'an.

The spokesperson told Ma'an that two other Palestinians were detained from the cities of Al-Bireh and Hebron. According to Israeli media, the two were transferred to Israeli intelligence for interrogations. The spokesperson added that all three were detained for "illegal activities".

Meanwhile, a video was released by Israeli media, which can be viewed here, showing Israeli forces beating the Palestinian detained in Hebron, while a woman screams in the background. Israeli media identified the Palestinian as Haitham Siyaj, 29, one of six Palestinians who had declared an open hunger strike in PA prison last month.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an he would look into reports on the circumstances surrounding the video.

According to Israeli media outlet Ynet, Siyaj was suspected of planning a "terrorist attack" with an explosive device. However, according to local Palestinians, Siyaj has been targeted by both the PA and Israel for his activism against the Israeli occupation and the PA's security coordination with Israeli forces.

Siyaj was initially detained by Palestinian security forces on 10 April, along with Basil Al-Araj, 33, and Muhammad Harb, 23, while walking near Ramallah, after the three had been reported missing by their families for ten days.

He and five other Palestinians held by the PA without charge or trial for five months launched a hunger strike for almost ten days in protest of their detentions.

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