Dozens of Israeli military vehicles and jeeps invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and conducted a large-scale invasion into dozens of homes before kidnapping 18 Palestinians. Five Palestinians, including a young woman, have been injured.Eyewitnesses said several military trucks, and armored vehicles, carrying hundreds of soldiers, Border Guard Police officers, and undercover forces, invaded the town before the soldiers broke into dozens of homes and violently searched them, causing excessive property damage, and kidnapped the eighteen Palestinians.

The soldiers also deliberately smashed windows of several Palestinian cars during the invasion, and clashed with local youths who threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the invading military vehicles.

The soldiers fired gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and rounds of live ammunition; medical sources said five Palestinians, including a young woman, have been shot by rubber-coated metal bullets and received treatment by local medics.

Mohammad ‘Awad, spokesperson of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, told the Radio Bethlehem 2000 that the invasion lasted for more than four hours, and that the soldiers completely isolated various neighborhoods, attacked and punched a number of Palestinians, including several women.

Awad said this is the largest military invasion into Beit Ummar since 2004, adding that among the kidnapped are school and college students, workers, and former political prisoners who spent years in Israeli prisons.

The kidnapped have been identified as Mahmoud Yousef ‘Alqam, 17, ‘Emad Ahmad Abu Hashem, 24, ‘Omar Ahmad ‘Ayyad ‘Awad, 28, Mohammad Ibrahim Abu Mariya, 19, ‘Ayesh Abdul-Nasser Ekhlayyel, 19, his brother Mohammad, 18, Hamza Mohammad Ekhlayyel, 18, Amir Mohammad Ekhlayyel, 16, Salah Saleh al-’Allami, 25, Moayyad Walid Ekhlayyel, 22, Yahia Adam Ekhlayyel, 25, his brother Mohammad, 22, Yousef Mahmoud Abu Mariya, 38, Jihad Raed Moqbel, 18, Shadi Ibrahim Bahar, 24, Mahmoud ‘Emad Ekhlayyel, 21, Bassam Mahmoud at-Teet, 16, and Mahmoud Bader Ekhlayyel, 28.

On Tuesday evening, soldiers invaded the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, and fired several concussion grenades at a number of homes and residents, especially in the al-Jabal area, causing many residents, including children, to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In related news, Israeli extremists punctured tires of eleven Palestinian cars in Beit Safafa, in occupied Jerusalem, and wrote racist graffiti against the Arabs and Palestinians.