Israeli forces continue to surround Beit Ummar
Published Sunday 03/04/2011 (updated) 04/04/2011 21:22
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a teenager in Beit Ummar on Sunday as the army's siege on the West Bank town continues, local officials said.
Popular committee spokesman Mohammad Ayad Awwad said Israeli troops had surrounded Beit Ummar for 13 days, since the army blocking all entrances to the town with barriers and cement blocks.
Soldiers detained Ahmad Ibrahim Ali IIkhlieyel, 16, and took him to an unknown location, Awwad added.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said Ali Ikhlieyel was detained "for security questioning."
Israeli forces have stepped up military activity in Beit Ummar since an Israeli settler opened fire on a funeral procession in the town on March 21, injuring two.
The Israeli news site Ynet said a mourner had "probably" thrown rocks at the settler car, before the driver parked, disembarked and fired on the gathered mourners. Muhammad Ali Abu Safiyya, 59, was shot in the chest and critically injured
Within days of the shooting, Israel began constructing a fence enclosing the southern flank of the town.
An Israeli army spokesman said "In response to incidents of rock throwing at Israeli cars driving from the village of Beit Omer [sic], a number of temporary blocks were placed at certain entrances to the village (though not including the main entrance) in an attempt to stymie such actions."
Metal gates, he added, were being installed on the street leading from the town to the cemetery.
Since March, Israeli soldiers have detained dozens of Beit Ummar residents, many of them teenagers.
Awwad said Israeli authorities had announced a new plan to build an illegal settlement outpost and a center to teach the Torah on land privately owned by Beit Ummar residents.