Israel arrests 14 Palestinians in West Bank village

NABLUS (Xinhua) — Israel arrested 14 Palestinians during an operation that has been conducted for days in a West Bank village, witnesses and residents said Monday.

The troops stormed houses in Awarta village near Nablus city, arrested 14 people and kept closing roads leading to the village, said Qais Awwad, the head of the village council.

The raids on the village were intensified since March 11, after unknown attackers stabbed to death five members of an Israeli family in the neighboring Itamar Jewish settlement.

On Sunday, 23 of the villagers were also detained. Awwad said Israel takes fingerprints from the villagers and collect DNA from suspects. He also noted that Israel seized more lands from the village to expand settlements.

The Palestinian National Authority condemned the Israeli measures in Awarta and called for international pressure on Israel to stop the operation.

“Israel seeks to destroy the village and expand the neighboring settlements,” said Riad Al-Maliki, Palestinian foreign affairs minister.

(www.philstar.com / 11.04.2011)

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