Israeli troops raid W. Bank homes, arrest 8 Palestinians - GulfToday

Israeli troops raid W. Bank homes, arrest 8 Palestinians


Residents talk to Israeli troops after the arrests in Hebron on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

Israeli occupation forces early Sunday arrested 8 Palestinians in various West Bank cities, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society.

A statement released by the group said that Israeli soldiers stormed a number of cities and arrested the 8 citizens. On Friday, a Palestinian wounded in an Israeli strike that killed eight members of his family died.

Mohammed Abu Malhous Al Sawarka, 40, succumbed after being wounded in “the massacre in which eight members of a family died when they were targeted in their homes,” ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said in a statement.

It said he was the brother of Rasmi Abu Malhous who was killed when his home was hit by an air strike on Nov.14.

Five children and Rasmi’s two wives were also killed.

Relatives of a Palestinian freelance photographer said last week that he has lost vision in one eye after apparently being struck by Israeli fire while covering a demonstration last week in the occupied West Bank.

Muath Amarneh’s case has drawn significant attention among Palestinians and in several Arab countries, with journalists voicing solidarity by posting photos on social media with themselves wearing eye patches.

Israeli paramilitary border police fired tear gas Sunday at Palestinian journalists who held a protest in solidarity with Amarneh in the city of Bethlehem. Protests were also held in Gaza City.

Palestinian colleagues say Amarneh, 35, was targeted by Israeli forces during a demonstration Friday near the West Bank city of Hebron.

Israel’s border police said it did not target Amarneh in Friday’s protest. It said it only used “nonlethal” means to disperse the crowd and released a video of what it says was Amarneh standing behind a group of stone throwers.

Amarneh’s relatives said doctors Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem informed them Amarneh has lost vision in his eye. But hospital officials could only confirm that he suffered a “serious” injury.

A video from the incident posted online showed Amarneh being carried off by other journalists while bleeding from his left eye. The demonstrators were protesting what they say were confiscations of village land by the Israeli military.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Amarneh and condemned the shooting, pledging to ensure he gets the best medical care for his injury.

Palestinian journalists frequently report abuse by Israeli security forces, but have little to no recourse for redress.

Last year, an Associated Press cameraman was shot while covering Palestinian protests along the Gaza border fence by an Israeli sniper.

The military neither apologised nor acknowledged shooting him.

Recently, the Netherlands halted direct aid to the justice system of the Palestinian Authority over compensation given to prisoners jailed in Israel for attacks.

The cut involves 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million) per year that was paid directly to the Palestinians and earmarked for the justice system under an EU programme.

“The Netherlands is not happy with the current Palestinian support system for prisoners and their relatives, because the amount of the benefit is linked to the duration of detention,” the Dutch foreign ministry said in an emailed statement.

“The Netherlands considers this an undesirable signal, because the violence seems to be rewarded.”

The Dutch government said it had told the Palestinians a year ago it would cut aid if nothing changed, “however, these talks have not yet produced the desired results, and the government has therefore decided to stop direct support to the Palestinian Authority.”

The Netherlands said funds that had already been set aside for the Palestinian justice system would be used instead for indirect aid, along with other countries, to promote “constitutional development” in the Palestinian Territories.

The PA says the payments are a form of welfare to families who have lost their main breadwinner.

Many Palestinians view prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks as heroes in their conflict with Israel. Palestinian leaders often venerate them as martyrs.


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