Three shot as Israeli forces raid Ramallah in occupied West Bank


At least six people have been hospitalised, three with gunshot wounds, during an Israeli army raid into Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.

A large Israeli military convoy arrived in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, late on Wednesday to destroy the home of a bomb attack suspect, leading hundreds of Palestinians to gather in the area to protest against the demolition.

The Israeli forces fired live bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at the crowd of Palestinian youths who hurled stones, a witness told the Reuters news agency. Video clips uploaded to social media also purported to show Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli troops.

The Palestinian health ministry said at least six people were transferred to hospital for treatment, including three who sustained gunshot wounds by Israeli forces. Photojournalist Moumen Sumrein was among those shot and was being treated in hospital for a head wound, Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

“At around 5:30am [03:30 GMT], the army completed the demolition of the Froukh home, destroying it from the inside due to its location on the first floor of a four-story building displacing his parents and four sisters who lived in the apartment,” WAFA reported.

Islam Froukh was arrested in December and accused of carrying out the November 23 bombings at Jerusalem bus stops that killed two people, including an Israeli-Canadian teenager, and wounded 14 others.

Abdel Fattah Dola, of the Palestinian Fatah party, said the “demolition of the homes of fighters is a collective punishment that falls under the war crimes committed by the occupation against our people.”

Reporting from the area on Thursday morning, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said the situation was still tense after the house demolition.

“We don’t often see Israeli forces demolishing homes in Ramallah,” Ibrahim said, noting that such raids were more frequent in cities like Nablus and Jenin.

“The family tell us they petitioned the Israeli court to close down the home instead of blowing it up. They say the court refused,” she added.

“It was a long night, from 11pm (21:00 GMT) until morning,” local resident and family member Um Mohammed Froukh told the AFP news agency. “There was tear gas and young men were injured.”

The Palestinian health ministry said at least 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since January.

Israel’s foreign ministry said 20 Israelis and two foreign nationals have been killed in Palestinian attacks during the same period.

Source: Aljazeera

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