Soldiers, Palestinians clash during West Bank arrest raid
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Soldiers, Palestinians clash during West Bank arrest raid

Troops open fire, reportedly injuring 7, after residents of Deheishe refugee camp throw rocks and pipe bombs at them

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative: IDF soldiers during an arrest raid in the Deheishe refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 8, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers during an arrest raid in the Deheishe refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 8, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Israeli troops clashed with residents of the Deheishe refugee camp outside Bethlehem during an arrest raid early Tuesday morning, the army said.

Seven Palestinians were injured in the raid, according to Palestinian media. The IDF did not confirm there were injuries among the Palestinians. No soldiers were wounded in the clash, the army said.

The soldiers had come to the refugee camp to arrest Nidal Abu Aker, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization. The army would not specify why Abu Aker was picked up on Tuesday night.

After soldiers arrested Abu Aker at his home sometime after midnight and began to exit the refugee camp, local residents attacked the military vehicles, the army said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcJPx7rNRx4&feature=youtu.be

“Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks and explosive devices at the force,” an IDF spokesperson said. “In order to prevent further escalation, the soldiers returned fire with Ruger rounds at central instigators, at which point the riot dispersed.”

Ruger 0.22-caliber rounds are used by the IDF and Israel Police for riot dispersal, as the comparatively small bullets are generally less lethal than other types of ammunition, though there have been cases of fatalities when the rounds struck targets in the upper body.

Abu Aker, who also works as a journalist, was released from prison in December 2015 after serving nearly a year and a half in administrative detention without official charges. The 49-year-old has spent approximately 15 years in Israeli prisons, according to the PFLP.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 12 other Palestinians, two of them for rock throwing and taking part in violent protests, the army said.

The majority of them were arrested in the central West Bank. Four were picked in Sawahera, two in Beit Fajjar and one in Sa’ir, north of Hebron.

The suspects have been handed over to the Shin Bet security service for interrogation, the army said.

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