Qais Awwad, head of the Awarta village Council, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, stated that Israeli soldiers invaded Awarta and detained hundreds of residents, including more than a 100 women, especially from the eastern area of the village. At least 40 military vehicles participated in the invasion that was initiated approximately at 11 before midnight on Wednesday.
Soldiers broke into dozens of homes and kidnapped hundreds of residents apparently as part of an investigation into the stabbing attack that was carried out more than a month ago, and led to the death of a settler family from Itamar.
Awwad told the Nablus TV that the soldiers violently searched dozens of homes and rounded up hundreds of residents, including dozens of women.
Awwad added that kidnapping the women is a red line Israel is crossing, and demanded Palestinian Authority to intervene and act against the latest Israeli military aggression.
He stated that the village was repeatedly invaded by the army since the stabbing took place in Itamar on March 3, and added that he and his family were forced out of their home all night long while the soldiers searched it.
During the attack in Itamar, the attacker stabbed to death the father, mother, and their 3 children, including a baby.
Resident, Samer Awwad, 27, was detained for several hours after the army
broke into his home on Thursday at dawn. He said that soldiers kidnapped more than 200 women and loaded them onto busses before driving to the Huwwara military base.
He added that Israeli interrogators, without any legal warrants or court rulings, are interrogating the residents, and that they start the interrogation by stating “you are accused of killing Israeli citizens in Itamar, where were you that night?’.
Awwad further said that after the interrogation process, soldiers and policemen took blood samples from all detained residents in order to conduct a DNA tests, and released most of them later on.
Several Israeli leaders and army officials accused the Palestinians of being behind the murder of the settler family, while several Palestinian factions and armed groups, including Hamas, denied the Israeli accusations and said that their polices and beliefs forbid them from killing children.
Awarta village is only a few hundred meters away from Itamar settlement, and was immediately invaded after the settler family was murdered. Several consecutive invasion were carried out against the village since then.