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Israeli army continues threatening to kill youth in Azzoun.

The Israeli army have continued in their unprovoked harassment of the residents of Azzoun over the past week.

On Saturday the 26th of January, at around 6pm, one jeep entered the village of Azzoun and circled the streets with sirens blaring. The soldiers positioned themselves in the main square, directly opposite the mosque as prayer was finishing. They proceeded to stop young men, searching their clothes and checking identification, detaining two men for approximately 30 minutes.

After they had finished their random ID checks, they remained in the square for a further 30 minutes, throwing sound bombs as youth began to throw stones. Meanwhile six heavily armed soldiers walked through the village, possibly with the aim of arresting someone. They shot at buildings in the centre of the village, seemingly at random. The jeep then returned at around 10pm, driving around the village with loud sirens for no apparent reason.

This follows on from a series of house occupations in the village. Early on Wednesday morning, at around 8am, soldiers forced entry into a home in the centre of Azzoun and detained the family. The region’s captain, referring to himself as ‘Captain Joe’, proceeded to threaten to the family, as well as repeating his threats to kill youth in Azzoun. Snipers were positioned on the top two floors of the house, which overlooked the home of a teenage boy, recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg from Israeli soldiers three weeks previously.

‘Captain Joe’ has claimed responsibility on several occasions over the past few weeks for his sniper skills in shooting this boy. Human Rights Workers (HRWs) were present outside of the occupied building, as well as in different positions around the village where two jeeps and one Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) were positioned.

After approximately two hours, the army left the home they were occupying, and attempted, although unsuccessfully, to arrest the five HRWs. The 2 jeeps and 1 APC eventually left the village, although it is clear that the aim of their visit was to harass, or possibly even kill, the wounded teenage boy or his friends visiting him at home.