Two Youths Arrested in Pre-Dawn Raids

2 August 2011

Two young Palestinian men are in Israeli custody today after the military raided homes this morning in Beit Ommar and Saffa.

At around 2 in the morning, five Israeli military jeeps entered the town of Beit Ommar. Upon entering the town, they fired tear gas and concussion grenades, waking residents and startling them. The jeeps stopped at the home of Fers Abu Maria. Soliders invaded the house, waking the family and forcing everyone into the street. Yelling at the family and questioning them for half an hour, they finally arrested 16 year old Mahmoud Hathym Solieby. The soldiers then moved to Saffa, where they invaded another home and arrested 16 year old Mahmoud Hasan Addy.

At the time of this writing, both young men are still being held by the Israeli military, although their location is unknown. No reason was given for the arrests.

Beit Ommar and surrounding towns have seen many young men arrested by military raids this year. In March, fourteen youths between the ages of 14 and 19 were arrested when the military invaded the town. In February, a total of seventeen young men were arrested, including 13 boys after a demonstration against settlement expansion. And in January, a total of seven teenagers and children were arrested. Young Palestinians may be put on trial and imprisoned like adults, and if they are released they may be fined large amounts of money by the Israeli courts.