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West Bank: Israeli settlers block Palestinian students from reaching school

Several Palestinians were also injured by Israeli forces after they arrested a 25-year-old man from al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya near Nablus
Israeli forces carry out night-time raids on a near-daily basis in the occupied territories (AFP)

Several Palestinians were injured on Monday morning after Israeli settlers attacked the Palestinian village of al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Dozens of settlers and soldiers had stormed the village and prevented students from reaching their school, Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

Almost 3,000 Palestinians live in Lubban Sharqiya, which sits on Road 60 that connects several Palestinian towns and villages to the city of Nablus in the north.

The illegal settlements of Neve Shir, Neot Khen, and Neve Shoham were built on the lands of Lubban Sharqiya and lie to the east of it. 

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Wafa reported that several Palestinians had suffered breathlessness from inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces who had arrested Baraa Mohanad Eweis, 25, from the village on Sunday evening.

A Facebook page dedicated to news about Lubban Sharqiya said that the face-off with the Israeli soldiers and settlers had lasted for around an hour, disrupting the school day and leading to heavy traffic on the main road.

Palestinian families in Lubban Sharqiya send their children to a school near Road 60 and have been vulnerable to attacks from settlers and Israeli forces for several years.

The Facebook page said settlers routinely stop students in the village from reaching their school, leading to clashes in the area in which Israeli forces shoot rubber-coated bullets and tear gas at Palestinians.

Last November, almost 70 Palestinian students and teachers suffered from the effects of tear gas when Israeli forces stormed the village.

Arrest campaign

Israeli forces carry out night-time raids on a near-daily basis in the occupied territories.

Some of these raids are part of a policy of "intelligence mapping," whereby Israeli forces storm Palestinian houses to inspect them and record the names and faces of the residents. 

These raids are video recorded, and Palestinians are photographed as part of an Israeli mass surveillance programme.

Over Sunday evening and early Monday, Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinians in different areas of the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, Wafa said.

Thirteen people were arrested around Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority.

They were named as Othman Zahran, Hasan Ali Rabee, Mahmoud Nafe Zahran, Abdullah al-Makin, Mahmoud Dheeb, Oday Haitham Rabee, Zuhdi Matar Zahran, Ahmed al-Kheer, Oday Issa Rabee, Saleh Darwish Atta, from Dier Abu Meshaal village, Yasin Subhi Hamed, 52 and his two sons Imad, 22, and Ahmed, 18, from Silwad village.

On Sunday night, Wafa reported that Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians in Hebron, in the south of the West Bank. They were named as former prisoners Oday Mamun al-Sharabati, Imad Hasan Mohammed al-Rai, 47, and his two sons, Qutaibeh, 16, and Obaideh, 17, as well as Hisham Tafish and his two sons from al-Arroub refugee camp on the outskirts of Hebron.

Israeli forces also arrested: Abdulkarim Hasan al-Titi, 50, and his son Mohammed, 19, from al-Fawwar refugee camp, and Mohammed Mahmoud Makhamreh, 27, and his brother Moaz, 30, and Mohammed Abu Tabeekh, all from Yatta village.

Around Jenin, in the north of the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians, including former prisoner Ezzdine Ahmad Amarneh, from Yaabad village. 

Jenin is a regular flashpoint for clashes between Palestinian armed resistance fighters and Israeli soldiers.

Israeli forces also detained Alaa Tawfiq Yahya from al-Arqa village and Ehab Nasri Houshiah from al-Yamoon village alongside his brother, Eyad, who was briefly imprisoned before being released.

Later Israeli forces also arrested Yousef Weshay and Dia Salameh from the Jenin refugee camp as they passed through the Zaatreh military checkpoint south of Nablus.

'Cruel treatment'

In Issawiya village, which lies east of occupied East Jerusalem and close to the Hebrew University, Israeli forces and intelligence members arrested 12 people from their homes on Sunday night.

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They were Majd Bashir Ahmed, Yazan Atef Obaid, Khaled Dia Muhaisen, Hussein Mahmoud Atieh, Qasem Munir Dirbas, Mohammed Abd al-Razem, Mohammed Haitham Mustafa, Abdullah Mohammed Abu Rialeh, Hussein Shady Obaid, Naif Wasim Obaid, Yousef Bilal Abu Rialeh and Ismail Ali Abu Rialeh.

In Anata village in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained Wajdy Salameh and Sami Abu Haniyeh.

According to Addameer, an NGO supporting Palestinian detainees, there are currently 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The Palestinian Commission on Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said in a report last June that Israel had arrested almost one million Palestinians since its occupation in 1967.

The group said that all of those detained had experienced "some form of physical or psychological torture, moral abuse, and cruel treatment".

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