Israeli troops backed by twenty military vehicles and jeeps, invaded on
Thursday morning the West Bank city of Bethlehem, surrounded one home
and arrested two residents, Palestinian sources in the city reported.

Troops invaded the city from from several directions as soldiers advanced into the city from the Rachel Tomb area,  Beit Jala city, from Al Obeyyat area, Wadi Maaly area, Al Saff Street, Wad Shaheen and advanced towards the Manger Square.

Soldiers surrounded a house near the Manger Square and used loud speakers to call the residents out; two residents were taken prisoners, they were identified as Hamza Hasan Obeyyat, 19, and his brother in law, Ahmad Awad Al Sabah, 26.  

Eyewitnesses reported that the two residents were taken to an unknown destination after they were handcuffed and blindfolded.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the two abducted residents are members of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement.

He added that the two have been wanted for two years, and that they surrendered after the soldiers surrounded their “hideout”. 

In a related event, dozens of youth hurled stones and empty bottles at the invading forces in Bethlehem, soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets; no injuries were reported.

Also, soldiers broke into several houses in Al Khader town, near Bethlehem and detained dozens of residents for several hours after forcing them out of their houses and ordering them to gather in a public square in the city.

The residents were forced against the walls for two hours before they were released, local sources reported.
In a separate attack, soldiers invaded overnight Bir Ona area in Beit Jala, and fired flares and concussion grenades before breaking into several homes and ransacking them.

No arrests were reported, but damage was reported as the soldiers violently broke into the houses and ransacked them.

Army claims that soldiers were searching for “wanted” resistance fighters.