A Reuters news agency reporter saw a large convoy of Israeli army vehicles arriving in the center of Ramallah and then Palestinians gathering in the area.
Clashes broke out in the early morning hours between to Israeli army units and Palestinians during a – particularly rare – raid on Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, which was intended according to Chahal to demolish a house belonging to an attacker.
A Reuters news agency reporter saw a large convoy of Israeli army vehicles arrive in the center of Ramallah, the city where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered, and then Palestinians gather in the area.
Young people threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing live fire, stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd. Gathered, they set fires in trash cans, while ambulance sirens sounded in the area.
The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said at least six people were hospitalized, two with gunshot wounds.
Chahal said his forces were operating in Ramallah to “demolish the residence of the terrorist who carried out a bomb attack in Jerusalem in November”.
The two explosions that took place at the time killed two people, including a Canadian-Israeli teenager, and injured 14 others. Police had said they had detonated improvised bombs placed at bus stops.
“The demolition of fighters’ houses is a collective punishment (…) a war crime committed by the occupation forces against our people,” said Abdel Fattah Dola, of the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Israeli government describes the policy of demolishing houses of alleged perpetrators of attacks as a punitive and deterrent measure.
The raid came hours after Hadi Amr, the US special envoy to the Palestinians, met with Hussein Al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long entered a period of bloody escalation. Since the beginning of the year, at least 158 Palestinians, 20 Israelis, a Ukrainian woman and an Italian have been killed in the conflict, according to official statements from both sides.
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