Israeli Forces, Settlers Besiege Al-Khalil

Israeli Forces, Settlers Besiege Al-KhalilIsraeli Forces, Settlers Besiege Al-Khalil

Israeli troops raided the offices of an activist group that monitors human rights violations by Israeli military forces and Jewish settlers, and took over homes in neighboring districts, a rights group and residents said.

“The area is besieged,” Issa Amro, coordinator of Youth Against Settlements in the Old City of Al-Khalil, told Al Jazeera by telephone on Saturday.

Amro said dozens of Israeli settlers gathered outside the building, celebrating the raid and chanting for Israeli troops to kill the Palestinians.

“They are rejoicing that they took over my home and building,” he said.

“One of the soldiers said that they were [raiding the home] as punishment for speaking to the international media about what’s happening in Al-Khalil.”

The raid took place hours after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in several Al-Khalil neighborhoods.

Settlers also attempted to kidnap a Palestinian resident, according to local media reports.

Israeli soldiers also occupied several family homes in Al-Khalil’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood, according to locals.

Since October 1, Israeli troops or settlers have killed at least 76 Palestinians, including bystanders, unarmed protesters and alleged attackers.

Of the Palestinians killed during that period, at least 22 were in Al-Khalil and the surrounding villages.