The Israeli army on Wednesday invaded both the city of Nablus, in the northern West Bank, and the village of Beit Ummer, located near the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. In total, at least 85 Palestinian civilians were abducted by the invading military.
Israeli troops stormed the village of Beit Ummar at around 1:00 am on Wednesday. Troops searched and ransacked scores of homes, with local sources stating that the army placed the village under curfew, not allowing families to leave their homes.
As the military operation continued, residents reported that, so far, the army had kidnapped 40 men from the village, their ages ranging from 18 to 45.
Israeli troops are still in the village and are not allowing Palestinian ambulances or journalists to enter the village, eyewitnesses reported. When IMEMC photojournalist Ghassan Bannoura arrived at the entrance of the village, Israeli troops did not allow him to enter, and threatened to use live rounds if he do not comply with their order to leave the scene.
As a group of international human rights workers from the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) tried to enter the village, Israeli troops prevented them and declared the entire village a ‘closed military zone’.
Later in the day, six CPT workers managed to enter Beit Ummer, although troops prevented them from moving around. Troops later kidnapped the group and released them in a nearby Israeli settlement.
Tareq, a CPT worker in Beit Ummer told IMEMC that the soldiers are ’rounding up men without any reason. Men are being spot interrogated and then moved away to unknown locations’.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams are an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world.
In a separate attack by the Israeli military, the northern West Bank city of Nablus was targeted. Troops kidnapped two civilians, detained without charge.
Palestinian sources in Nablus reported that Israeli military forces invaded the city on Wednesday at dawn and kidnapped Mou’ayad Hashash, 24. Meanwhile, Samier Mansour, 18, was also taken from his home in the village of Kufer Kalil, just south of Nablus city.
Israeli army radio announced that, during pre-dawn invasions across the West Bank, the Israeli army had kidnapped as many as 70 Palestinian civilians.