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Israeli Army Takes Boys from Bil’in During a 3:00AM Raid of the Village

June 24, 2009

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Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers seized two fifteen-year-old Palestinian boys from their homes in the West Bank village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah, on Tuesday morning.

Bil’in is known for its tenacious weekly demonstrations against the Israeli separation wall, which is being built on the village’s land.

Iyad Burnat of Bil’in’s Popular Committee identified the two boys as Khalil Yassin and Kamil Al-Khatib. He said Israeli soldiers invaded the village at 3am and conducted house to house searches. The Israeli military confirmed that it arrested two people during an overnight raid in the village.

Burnat told Ma’an he did not know why the two were arrested, though he said, that like many people the village, they were known to attend the weekly demonstration, suggesting that the raid was intended to discourage protest.

On Monday, Burnat said, two other boys, Hassanain Mansour and Kifah Mansour, were arrested when they ventured out to their family’s farmland in the village. They, like the two arrested today, are being held at an unknown location.

These arrests come as court proceedings begin in a lawsuit Bil’in brought in Quebec against two Canadian companies involved in constructing the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Ilit on the village’s land. Bil’in is pursuing legal action against Park International and Green Mount International for building, marketing and selling settler homes in contravention of international law. Hearings began on Monday in the case.

Burnat said he did not see a connection between the hearing and the arrests, noting that the Israeli army comes “many times in the night – every week,” to the village.

http://maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38754

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