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Israle Demolishes More Homes, Arrests Four

IOF Demolishes Four Houses in Rafah, Arrests Four Palestinians and Extends Detention Period of 140 Prisoners

RAFAH, Palestine, November 29, 2003 (IPC + Agencies) - - The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) demolished four houses in the city of Rafah, while arresting four Palestinian citizens in separate incidents around the Palestinian territories, as the Israeli "Negev Desert" detention camp administration extended the detention times of more than 140 Palestinian prisoners there.

In the city of Rafah, IPC correspondent said that IOF backed by military D-9 bulldozers invaded the area of Al Barahma amidst heavy and indiscriminate gunfire, and tore down four Palestinian houses, as well as leveling and bulldozing nearby lands.

Eyewitnesses added that the four houses are owned by the Barhoum family, and that they caused the dispossession of nearly 10 families, who would be joining the hundreds of Palestinian families in the city of Rafah who lost their homes to the Israeli war machine.

Meanwhile, in the city of Qalqilia, IOF troops arrested a Palestinian citizen.

Eyewitnesses and security sources in the city affirmed that IOF troops arrested Citizen Amjad Hawwari while he was walking in the city, and led him to the nearby illegitimate Jewish settlement of "Qidomim", where his fate was not yet determined.

As well, three other citizens were also arrested by the occupying forces in the town of Termse'eya, east of Ramallah and ElBireh governorate.

Eyewitnesses told IPC correspondent that IOF besieged several houses in the town and broke into it, vandalizing furniture and humiliating its residents. Later, the Israeli troops arrested Citizen Amjad Awad, 23, and brothers Sharif and Redwan Hezma, 22 and 24, then led them into an undisclosed location.

The town of Termse'eya has been the subject of heavy assaults by the occupying forces and the armed Jewish settler gangs, who –under the protection of the IOF troops- bulldoze Palestinian arable lands, annex them to their illegitimate settlements and plunder its crops of olive, almonds and fruit.

Earlier, the Palestine News Agency (WAFA) reported that the administration of the "Negev Desert" detention camp has decided to extend the prison terms of more than 140 Palestinian prisoners there during the past two months.

In phone calls with some prisoners there, the prisoners told WAFA that the prison administration extended the "administrative detention" (illegal detention without trial or charge) periods for 80 prisoners last month and 60 this month, without giving any reasons or presenting a list of charges to any of the prisoners.

Additionally, IOF uprooted 200 olive trees in the area of Al Qarara, south of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian security sources and local eyewitnesses said that large forces of the occupying army backed by bulldozers invaded the area east of Al Qarara and has uprooted over the last week 200 olive trees, some of which was older than 30 years.

Ahmad Al Amawi, a farmer and owner to some of the uprooted trees, said that he used to work inside the "Green Line", and after the Israeli closure policy, he was prevented from further working inside, and the olive trees became his only source of income.

"I lost everything when the bulldozers uprooted my trees and bulldozed my farmlands. I depended on my land to provide food on the table for my family. I lost everything and now I have to wait for the relief organizations to help us," Al Amawai said.

Earlier in the Nablus governorate, IOF erected five new military checkpoints between the villages of Assira Al Shamaliya and Ejnesnia.

Eyewitnesses told WAFA that IOF troops detained hundreds of Palestinian citizens on the main road between the two villages as well as the side roads, especially the Assira Al Shamliya-Nablus road.

Palestinian citizens who were detained there expressed their anger that these new checkpoints would increase the siege imposed on them by the occupying forces, as well as prolonging the journey they take to and from their villages.


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