Israeli forces raid mosque in central West Bank, detain 3 Palestinian worshippers

12:00 Aug 10 2017 Al-Eizariya

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday raided a mosque in the central occupied West Bank town of al-Eizariya, and detained three worshippers, according to local sources.

Palestinian Minister of Waqf (Islamic endowment) and Religious Affairs Sheikh Yousif Ideis spoke to Ma’an, and called the raid “racist and provocative,” and one of the many “Israeli crimes against Muslim holy places.”

Ideis denounced the raid, saying “there aren’t any safe places of worship anymore amid Israeli aggressions against all holy sites,” referring to last months events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem .

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

While it remained unclear if the events were related, just hours prior to the raid on the Mosque, five Palestinian residents of Hebron were detained in al-Eizariya, which lies in the Jerusalem district, after they were accused of planning to carry out an attack inside Israel.

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained five Palestinian residents of Hebron in the Jerusalem-area town of al-Eizariya, located in the central occupied West Bank, as the five were alleged “on their way to conduct an attack” inside Israel.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the five Palestinians were arrested as part of a joint operation between Israeli police, army, and intelligence officials.

The five, whose identities remained unknown, were transferred to Israeli intelligence for interrogation, according to al-Samri.

Scores of Palestinians have been detained in the past two years for allegedly planning to commit attacks against Israelis since a wave of unrest broke out in October 2015.

In a report released on Tuesday, prisoners’ rights group Addameer, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, and Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported a sharp increase in Israeli detentions of Palestinians, with 880 Palestinians being detained in the month of July alone, 144 of whom were Palestinian children.
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