Israel detains 100 women in murder investigation

AWARTA, West Bank Thu Apr 7, 2011 12:09pm EDT

Mourners cry during the funeral of Ehud Fogel, 36, his wife Ruth, 35, and their children 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad, and 3-month-old Hadas in Jerusalem, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Mourners cry during the funeral of Ehud Fogel, 36, his wife Ruth, 35, and their children 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad, and 3-month-old Hadas in Jerusalem, March 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

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AWARTA, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops briefly detained about 100 women in the West Bank early on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into the murder last month of a young Jewish settler family, locals said.

The women, many of them seized with their husbands, were released after police took their fingerprints and DNA samples.

The Fogel family, including two young children and a baby, were knifed to death in their beds on March 11 in the Itamar settlement which is near the Palestinian village of Awarta.

Israeli officials blamed Palestinians for the murders. No Palestinian group had claimed responsibility and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described the killing as inhumane.

Israeli investigators have repeatedly descended on Awarta since the killing and the head of the village council, Qais Awwad, said troops entered houses overnight, taking away women aged between 20 to 80 in armored trucks to a detention center.

Sumayyah Shurrab, 30, said she had to take her 11-month old child with her. After fingerprint and DNA checks she was taken back to Awarta.

"They told me they wanted to compare them with finger prints they found in the settlement," she said.

"This was a very inhuman act," she added.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was aware of reports of the arrests but could not comment because of censorship surrounding the case.

Awwad said that since the killing of the Fogel family, troops have arrested all the young males of the 6,000-strong community. He said some 30 people were still in jail. Israel has not given any details of the investigation.

Half a million Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is also home to 2.5 million Palestinians. Palestinians want the lands, along with Gaza Strip for a state of their own.

(Writing by Mohammed Assadi; editing by Crispian Balmer)

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Comments (2)
Sovereign wrote:
Perhaps, Israel should investigate the information on the Thai worker allegedly deprived of his wages, before harassing the masses; even, if it does not fit into their policy of taking Palestinian land for any convenient cause. This type of incident does not fit the M.O. (modus operandi) of the Palestinian refugees who resist Israeli occupation; they rarely: use knives, target women or children, or refrain from claiming responsibility. The Israelis appear to be employing psychological warfare tactics in rousting innocent People in their sleep and ushering them away in the middle of the night. I pray that Israel discovers who perpetrated this heinous crime and that they punish, only, the perpetrator(s).

Apr 07, 2011 1:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lisaz wrote:
As usual, so underhanded, so sensational and so one sided!!! Any neutral person reading this will think that indeed the palestinians are dealt with by Israelis so poorly. What exactly happenened there? reading smartly between the lines- you find out that an Isralei family was butchered and the poor Israelis are trying to find out who did it. the “poor” palestinian woman was taken from her home, was figerprinted and was driven back to her village. so sensetional- 100 women were detained! for how long- while they were fingerprinted? i have no respect for such reporting. you try to infuence readers like us with “fair reporting’ this is not fair reporting. i hope you publish this. shame on you, REuters.

Apr 07, 2011 2:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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