Israeli army 'arrests' Palestinian youth in Ramallah raid

5 months ago 34
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The Israeli army raided Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the first such incursion since the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced last May it would cut security coordination with Israel, a Palestinian official told AFP news agency.

"Israeli forces entered Ramallah before dawn," interior ministry spokesman Ghassan Nimr said, noting that "three houses were searched" in the city but no arrests were made.

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The PA has its headquarters in Ramallah and the city is nominally under Palestinian control, but the Israeli army has carried out numerous raids there.

Under the Oslo agreements signed between Israel and Palestine in 1993, the PA is obliged to share information with Israel about any armed resistance to the Israeli occupation in a practice known as "security coordination".

Rights activists have accused the PA of working hand-in-hand with the Israeli occupation forces to suppress Palestinians.

A security source said Israeli soldiers arrested a 20-year-old man in Al-Amari refugee camp near the city.

Residents of the refugee camp responded to the Israeli raid by throwing rocks, as the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at them, the source said.

The Israeli military confirmed an arrest was made in the refugee camp, but a spokeswoman told AFP that the army "did not enter Ramallah overnight".

The raids were the first since the PA announced in mid-May that it was ending security coordination with Israel, the interior ministry spokesman, Nimr, said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the step last month without further details, in a response to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

More than 450,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements deemed illegal under international law, alongside 2.7 million Palestinians.

The Israeli government said it could begin the annexation process from July 1, as part of a so-called "peace plan" proposed by US President Donald Trump.

The initiative has been welcomed by Israel but rejected by the Palestinians, who cut ties with Washington in 2017 over its pro-Israel stance.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned of a "hot summer" if Israel presses ahead with annexation, while the United Nations said it will likely lead to violence.

On Tuesday, UN human rights experts said Netanyahu's annexation plan would violate international law.

"The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible," said a joint statement signed by nearly 50 independent experts.

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