Israeli forces detain Palestinian teen at Beit Fajjar checkpoint

17:00 Mar 23 2016 Beit Fajjar

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on and detained a Palestinian teen carrying a knife at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Fajjar, witnesses said.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers opened fire in the air behind a female Palestinian teen walking in the area. The witnesses added that the Israeli forces claimed the teen had a knife in her possession before handcuffing and detaining her.

The Palestinian military liaison confirmed the teen was detained at a checkpoint set up at the western entrance of Beit Fajjar.

Locals identified the detainee as Salwa Jamal Fakhri Taqatqa, 14.
Witnesses said the area was closed by Israeli forces following the incident, and reported Israeli ambulances, significant traffic back ups, and heavy Israeli military presence.

An Israeli army spokesperson was unable to confirm the detention, but told Ma’an they were looking into reports.

Beit Fajjar has been under increased Israeli military presence since two residents of the town were shot dead last week after stabbing and injuring an Israeli soldier near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel.

The town was put under complete blockade for four days following the attack, and the Israeli military has since imposed restrictions on movement on Beit Fajjar residents.

Bethlehem district governor Jibril al-Bakri said the restrictions constituted “collective punishment” of the village's over 10,000 residents, in violation of international law.
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