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Five boys from Marda village held by army, still not released


MARDA VILLAGE, WEST BANK On the afternoon of Monday, July 4, several Israeli army jeeps entered the village of Marda and Israeli soldiers ambushed Palestinian youths as they were descending from the hill above the village, after they had attempted to stop work on the separation fence.

Marda village, home to 2,000 residents, is 22 km to the East of the Green Line, underneath the Israeli settlement of Ariel, population 20,000. Construction of the fence on land belonging to the village began in early June and already over 1,000 trees belonging to village families have been uprooted.

There have been five major nonviolent demonstrations of village residents since work began, and several days out of every week a coordinated group of Marda youth ascends the hill to attempt to stop the work and are frequently met with tear gas and sound bombs from the Israeli army.

On July 4 the army rounded up seven boys and young men ranging in age from 13-22. The residents were detained at the Western entrance of the village in the sun for over an hour before being taken away. One Palestinian boy was reportedly hit in the head and leg with glass by one of the Israeli soldiers. The boys were first taken to Ariel police station and later to Qedumim military prison.

On July 5, two of the boys were released after questioning. One was told he would be fined 3,000 NIS if he didn’t appear for a court date. The remaining five, including a 21 year old who is in remission from cancer and needs medication, are still in custody at Qedumim.

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