By Chris Carlson
International Middle East Media Center: At least 23 Palestinians were abducted by Israeli forces, during overnight raids throughout the West Bank, including several Members of Parliament. Further confrontations near Rachel’s Tomb have been reported at Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem.
A number of Palestinians have been reported injured by the Palestinian News Network (PNN). Some took live fire, while others were wounded with rubber-coated bullets, with further reports of teargas suffocation continuing to surface.
This particular arrest campaign began with clashes which erupted, all over the West Bank, in solidarity with the victims of Israel’s assaults on the Gaza Strip, as well as other violations.
In Teqoa and Joret el-Shama, 3 identified as Mahmoud Kamal Sabah and Mouhanad Nasser Al Taamreh, both 20, were also reported abducted.
In Ramallah, soldiers took Palestinian PM Fadel Hamdan.
Further abductions by Israeli forces occured in the northern West Bank, where two Members of Parliament, Khaled Said Ibrahim, 52, was taken from the Jenin neighborhood of Al Jabryat, and Ibrahim Saleh Mohammad Dahbour, 53, from Araba village.
In nearby Nablus, soldiers kidnapped yet another Palestinian MP named Reyad Al Amleh, from the village of Qablan, in addition to one Abedel Satar Qassem, who is a professor at the National Al-Najah University.
In Tulkarem, to the West, two Palestinian Members of Parliament were also taken into custody: Fathi Al Qarawi, from Nur Shams refugee camp, and Reyad Radad, from Sayda village. In Salfit, Israeli soldiers kidnapped the former Palestinian Minister of Finance, Oumar Abdel Raziq.
To the south, in Hebron, forces abducted 12 Palestinians, including 3 Palestinian MPs, after breaking into their homes and beating them in front of their families, PNN further reports.
The victims have been identified as brothers Elayan and Jafar Al Qwassmi, Anwar Al Joulani, 35, Adnan Al Zouro, 34, brothers Tamer, Wael and Tarek Al Taweel, Waheeb El-Natsheh, and Palestinian MPs Nayef Al-Rjoub, from Doura, Mohammad Abu Jhysheh from the village of Ithna and Mohammad Ismail Al Tal, from Al Thahryeh.
Israeli soldiers also raided and searched several other Hebron homes.
In the Bethlehem district, four Palestinians were kidnapped from the villages Joret el-Shama, Al Ma’sara and Teqoa.
Around 2 a.m., Israeli forces raided the homes of Mahmoud Zwahre and Mohammad Brejiya, in Al Ma’sara, where soldeirs searched their houses and beat them both in the street. They then took them away, most likely to a police station located in the illegal Gush Etzion settlement, according to local sources. Mahmoud is a well known member of the Popular Resistance Committees.
Yesterday evening, around 60 soldiers opened the gate of their military base and broke into Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem.
The soldiers appeared to be new trainees, according to the PNN. They stood next to the gate for approximately 10 minutes before people in the camp realized what was happening. Some of the youth approached the soldiers and began throwing stones at them.
Shortly after, the soldiers started running down the hill, in what it seemed to be a training exercise rather than a response to the stones.
Following this, the soldiers retreated, with just a few soldiers remaining inside the camp. A few Palestinians kept throwing rocks and the soldiers responded with stun grenades back. After a few minutes, they too retreated back to the base.
Aida refugee camp is located just next to Rachel’s Tomb, one of the holiest sites in the Levant, and is surrounded by a section of the massive Apartheid Wall which cuts through Bethlehem and surrounds the camp.
The area is a frequent target for provocation against Palestinians by both Israeli soldiers and settlers.