Israeli forces raid Silwad near Ramallah on 10th day of closure after shooting attacks

Israeli forces raid Silwad near Ramallah on 10th day of closure after shooting attacks
For ten days and counting, the Palestinian town of Silwad has been subject to Israeli closures and raids, following two shootings at an Israeli settlers' bus and an Israeli army outpost near the town.
4 min read
West Bank
31 August, 2022
The closure of Silwad affects the lifeline of some ten Palestinian villages east of Ramallah. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Israeli forces raided the Palestinian town of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, on Wednesday morning hours after a shooting attack against an Israeli military outpost near the town.
Three Palestinians from the town were arrested by Israeli forces, who damaged a barbershop belonging to one of the detainees. Another detainee was wounded in the leg before he was arrested, residents told The New Arab.

"I work as a doctor at Ramallah hospital but this morning I took the day off, so I was home when it all happened," Nasser Hammad, brother of one of the detainees, told The New Arab.
"I was preparing coffee when I saw through the window a civilian car rush into the neighbourhood and Israeli soldiers coming down from it, heading to our house," Hammad described.

"Soldiers raided the house, and there was only me, my brother Abdel Qader and my younger sister, who is a high school student," he said. 

"They pushed me and my sister into the house and went to the second floor for Abdel Qader. Then we heard them beating him before they brought him out hands cuffed," he added. "The Israeli soldiers broke my laptop and confiscated my phone. Fortunately, my elderly parents weren't home to see it all."
Abdel Qader Hammad, 23 years old, had been arrested seven times before, including serving a four-year sentence. Israeli forces accuse him of taking part in shooting attacks on Israeli forces.

Silwad raid / Qasam Muaddi
Israeli forces raided a barbershop belonging to one of the detainees and searched it, damaging its contents. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided a barbershop belonging to Hammad, damaging its walls and furniture.
In the same raid, Israeli forces wounded Abdel Rahman Hamed, a 24-year-old, with live ammunition, before arresting him.

Residents told The New Arab that Hamed escaped from the soldiers with other young men before being shot. Israeli forces also arrested a third Palestinian, Ezzedin Suboh, 24 years old.

According to the Israeli media, the Israeli army claims that they gave Hamed medical treatment without specifying the type of wound he had and that Palestinians confronted the raiding soldiers following the arrests.
"Young men threw stones at Israeli military jeeps along the main street," said a resident who asked not to be named.

Silwad after raid / Qassam Muaddi
Israeli forces have killed two Palestinians in Silwad and arrested dozens since the beginning of 2022. Their pictures hang in the town's streets [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

"I was working here cutting stone when a youngster threw a big rock at a military jeep across the street and ran around the corner," said the resident, standing behind a pile of building stones in front of a house.
"Israeli soldiers then opened fire from inside the jeep, so I threw myself to the ground and crawled towards the house to take cover," he added.
"I was waiting for the school bus beside the porch when I heard the shooting, so I rushed with my little brother to the kitchen and hid under the table," a ten-year-old resident of the house said to The New Arab.

"When everything was over, we found that two bullets had hit our house's front windows," she said, pointing to two holes clearly seen on their windows. 
Silwad has been under on-and-off Israeli closure for the past ten days, after two shooting attacks on Israeli forces and settlers near the town.

Bullet window Silwad / Qassam Muaddi
"I was waiting for the school bus near the porch when I heard shooting, so I rushed to the kitchen with my little brother and hid under the table. when it was over we found that two Israeli bullets had hit our front windows," said a 10-year-old witness. [Qassam Muaddi / TNA]

On Monday, Israeli forces closed the western entrance of the town with dirt mounts once again, after residents had removed them to break the siege. Silwad's eastern entrance remains closed with a checkpoint. 

The closure of Silwad cuts off a vital line for some ten villages east of Ramallah, forcing Palestinians in the area to take long detours to reach their working places in Ramallah city.
"This is a kind of collective punishment not only against Silwad but the entire region," Raed Hammad, mayor of Silwad, told The New Arab.

School kids Silwad / Qassam Muaddi
"This is a collective punishment, education in Silwad has been affected in the first week of the school year and commercial life too," said the mayor of Silwad. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

"Education was affected in the first week of the school year, commercial life has been affected too, and we don't know until when it will continue," added the mayor.
"We haven't been able to sleep for ten days," said Nasser Hammad, the doctor and brother of one of the Palestinians arrested in the latest raid.

"We expect a new raid at any moment, fearing the worst each time, but we still carry on with our works and lives despite everything."