Israeli troops killed two Palestinians during raids in the West Bank on Thursday night. Among the dead is a 15-year-old boy. Meanwhile, tensions remain high as sweeping searches continue for three Israeli teenagers believed to have been abducted more than a week ago. CCTV’s Stephanie Freid reports.
When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Palestinian Security Services are cooperating with Israel’s military in the effort to find three missing Israeli teens, he meant business. Tensions are not only escalating between Israel and Palestinians but also between the Palestinian factions. A protest, sponsored by the militant Islamic Hamas group in Hebron against Israel’s detention policy of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, turned in to Palestinian security versus Palestinian protester chaos.
Beyond a doubt this has been a pressure-cooker week in Hebron culminating here in a protest against the Palestinian forces saying they’re collaborating with Israel. In seconds, the scene here changed. Locals were stunned by the about-face on the ground. They’re used to Israeli forces cracking down. But the show of force from their own people was overwhelming for many.
The forces here were given a directive by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: keep Hamas-sponsored activity under wraps. Last week, the U.S. State Department said it was urging Abbas to quote “work closely together” with Israel’s government in the search.
A few kilometers away in a quieter section of Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city, Israel’s special forces followed their directive: Keep searching for the missing teens. Thousands of Israeli soldiers have scoured the West Bank during the past week, raiding more than a thousand locations and arresting hundreds of Palestinians. So far, during the raids, three Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s army.
The forces here succeeded in putting down unrest this time. But the longer Israel’s current campaign – being described as quote “collective punishment” by human rights advocates – continues, the more likely there will be an escalation in violence.