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Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinian employees of Hebron Rehabilitation Committee

Israeli soldiers are seen as they storm Palestinians' houses and shops during an operation carried out after opening fire at a Jewish at Shuqba villiage in Ramallah, West Bank on December 19, 2016 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]
Israeli soldiers are seen as they storm Palestinians' houses and shops during an operation carried out after opening fire at a Jewish at Shuqba villiage in Ramallah, West Bank on December 19, 2016 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces Monday morning detained five Palestinian employees of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) while they were conducting rehabilitation works on a house on the al-Shuhada Street in Hebron’s old city.

General Director of HRC Imad Hamdan said in statement that Israeli forces detained five of their employees while working in a house in al-Shuhada Street as part of the committee’s aims to preserve Palestinian culture in the area.

Hamdan said that legal unit of the Committee is pursuing the issue with Israeli authorities, noting that Israel had detained several employees of the committee previously and most of them were released on bail.
He added that such Israeli procedures “aim to obstruct the committee’s work in maintaining the cultural aspect of Hebron and protect it from the Israeli attempts to Judaise it.”

Located in the center of Hebron — one of the largest cities in the occupied West Bank – the Old City was divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas in 1994, known as H1 and H2.

Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

While Israel claims to abide by peace agreements regarding the area the international community has repeatedly slammed Israel for its draconian measures carried out against Palestinians.

Increased military presence has spread across the Hebron district since October, with checkpoints being set up at the entrances to many Hebron-district villages, and residents reporting harassment, arbitrary detentions, an increase in traffic, and curfews.

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