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Army and settlers attack Palestinians

terça-feira 1º de julho de 2014, por Ahmad Jaradat,

Israeli soldiers and settlers clashed with Palestinians in the city of Hebron and its suburbs after an Israeli seeking mission found Monday evening the bodies of three Israeli teenage settlers who went missing over two weeks ago.

In the nearby town of Halhul, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians near the home of Marwan Kawasmeh, who is a suspect in the abduction and killing of the settlers. Soldiers used crowd dispersion methods, such as tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, to disperse Palestinian who gathered near the house. Palestinians responded by throwing stones, rolling garbage bins, and burning tires.

The army also used explosives to demolish part of the home of Amar Abu-Eisha, a second suspect in the kidnapping. Several of the home’s walls were destroyed and a fire broke out but was quickly extinguished. No one was injured in the incident.

Israeli security services had apparently suspected the two Palestinians since the day after the teens went missing. Accordingly, their families and others suspected of aiding them were arrested and questioned by security officials.

According to media reports, the day after the teens went missing, the wives of the two suspects were arrested and subjected to hours of interrogation.

At the same time, settlers from the northern Hebron settlement of Karmei Tzur gathered at a junction near Halhul, waving Israeli flags and blocking the passage of vehicles with Palestinian license plates.

Settlers from Hebron’s settlement outpost of Tel Rumeida attacked Palestinian houses in the area. As a consequence, clashes erupted between Palestinians and settlers, who were supported by the Israel army. One Palestinians, 20 year old Sajed Soltan, was injured in the head.

Settlers also gathered in the city’s al Ibrahimi mosque and marched in downtown Hebron, shouting slogans against Arabs.

The city of Halhul was placed under total closure and checkpoints were set up at the entrances of all towns and villages of the Hebron district, as well as road junctions in the area.

In Beit Ummar, a town north of Hebron, the municipality made arrangements to host people who were unable to reach their homes due to the closure. An emergency phone number was arranged by the municipality and distributed by the media.