Scores arrested after Itamar attack

March 29, 2011 at 7:55 AM
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AWARTA, West Bank, March 29 (UPI) -- The mayor of a Palestinian village said scores of residents have been arrested by Israel since the slaying of an Israeli family in a nearby settlement.

Qayas Awad is the mayor of Awarta, a Palestinian village near the Israeli settlement of Itamar southeast of Nablus, where earlier this month five members of the Fogel family, including two children and a baby, were stabbed to death in their sleep. He told the Ma'an news agency that his deputy and scores of other residents were arrested by the Israel Army early Tuesday and taken to undergo DNA tests and questioning.

Israel Radio said more than 100 Palestinians from the village have been detained in recent weeks.

The army refused to comment on the radio report, however operations in the area have been ongoing since the stabbings of the Fogel family.

Following the attack Israel slapped a gag order on the entire investigation.

More than 40 people from the village were detained in the first round of arrests following the attack on the Fogels, Awad told Ma'an. He said the army imposed a curfew on the village twice, and questioned residents and foreign workers.

"They took samples for DNA tests, and were fingerprinted before being interrogated, some were released but more are being kept in custody," Awad told the Palestinian news agency.

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