Israeli forces detain 3, close major checkpoint in daytime West Bank raids

12:00 Apr 5 2016 Deheisheh and Huwwara checkpoint

Israeli forces detain 3, close major checkpoint in daytime West Bank raids
Abdullah Nayef Ramadan, student leader at al-Quds University

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces stormed the occupied West Bank districts of Bethlehem and Nablus on Tuesday, detaining at least three Palestinians as well as closing roads and a major checkpoint.

Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank village of Huwwara in the southern Nablus district and forcibly shut down all shops in the town after an Israeli settler was reportedly injured by stones thrown by local youths, local sources said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a rock was thrown at a passing vehicle in the area, injuring an Israeli woman, and that the Huwarra area was "prone to rock hurling attacks."

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed the main road between Nablus and the illegal Yitzhar settlement. He added that the Israeli forces detained two Palestinian men from Huwwara.

Witnesses also said Israeli forces closed the Huwwara checkpoint, a major checkpoint between Nablus and the central West Bank, after the incident. Israeli forces had threatened to set up checkpoints outside of Huwwara on Sunday if there were any clashes with Palestinian residents of the area.

The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that one road near Huwarra and the checkpoint had been closed, but that it was "not necessarily connected to the rock hurling," and that checkpoints were regularly closed temporarily to "reduce crowding."

In a separate incident, Israeli forces stormed al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem shortly before midday Tuesday and detained a young Palestinian man, locals told Ma’an.

Witnesses said undercover Israeli forces entered the western part of the camp shortly before Israeli military vehicles stormed the area. They surrounded the home of Nayif Ramadan and detained his son Abdullah, 24.

The family said that Israeli soldiers searched and ransacked the house, damaging the family’s property.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of the incident.

The raids comes after at least 21 Palestinians were detained during extensive predawn search and detention operations Tuesday, which included local Hamas leaders. Israeli forces also targeted al-Quds University early Tuesday morning, confiscating and damaging university property.

Israeli forces carry out overnight search and detention operations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory nearly every night, however, raids taking place in broad daylight are less common.

Since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces have carried out a weekly average of 92 search and detention operations in the occupied Palestinian territory, according to The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

from, April 5, 2016

Student leader Abdullah Nayef Ramadan, the Secretary of the Progressive Student Labor Front at Al-Quds University in Beit Jala, was arrested mid-morning on Tuesday, 5 April in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, occupied Palestine.

Ramadan, 23, was seized by 10 Israeli occupation soldiers disguised as local Palestinians and driving two Ford vehicles. They jumped from the cars, invaded Ramadan’s home. Visible Israeli occupation army units then invaded the camp and seized Ramadan, forcing him into an army jeep and securing the undercover forces as they left the camp with Ramadan; occupation soldiers shot into the air as children of the camp confronted them with stones.

Ramadan has spent four years in Israeli prison in the past, accused of membership in the leftist Palestinian political party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The attack on Ramadan came hours after Israeli occupation forces invaded Al-Quds University’s Abu Dis campus, ransacking the offices of both the Islamic Bloc and the Progressive Student Labor Front.

Ramadan is the latest Palestinian student leader to be imprisoned by the Israeli occupation forces. Other students targeted recently for imprisonment include Asmaa Qadah, secretary of Bir Zeit’s student union with the Islamic Bloc – among 90 Bir Zeit students arrested in late 2015; Amjad Samhan, a Bir Zeit activist with the Progressive Democratic Student Pole; and Donya Musleh, a student activist with the PSLF at Palestine National University.

As Samidoun wrote in response to attempts to suppress Students for Justice in Palestine at the City University of New York, “Students in Palestine are constantly subject to arrest, torture and imprisonment on the basis of their political activity. Student union offices are raided, and members arrested and imprisoned – often held under administrative detention without charge or trial – by the Israeli occupation due to their activity in student blocs and organizations. Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, who just ended a 94-day hunger strike for freedom, is the former president of Bir Zeit University’s student union; folkloric dancer Lina Khattab was imprisoned for 6 months for participating in a student protest to free Palestinian political prisoners; Asmaa Qadah, secretary of Bir Zeit’s student union, was arrested in January and sent to administrative detention without charge or trial. Their student unions, blocs and organizations – representing the whole spectrum of Palestinian politics – are frequently designated supporters of ‘prohibited organizations.'”

These arrests often become more frequent in April and May as annual student elections approach, in an attempt to remove prominent activists from Palestinian universities and undermine the student political process.

Abdullah Ramadan, 24, detained 4/5/2016
Two Palestinians reported detained 4/5/2016
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