6 troops injured, 4 Palestinians shot in clash at Jerusalem refugee camp

Border Police say locals in Qalandiya dropped heavy objects from roofs, endangered officers’ lives during arrest operation in Qalandiya

Palestinians during clashes with Israeli forces in Qalandiya, West Bank, December 7, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Palestinians during clashes with Israeli forces in Qalandiya, West Bank, December 7, 2020. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Violent clashes broke out Monday morning between Palestinians and Israeli troops at a Jerusalem refugee camp, with injuries suffered by both sides.

Six Israeli border troops were hurt when residents of the Qalandiya refugee camp rioted and hurled cinderblocks and other heavy objects at officers from roofs, the Border Police said in a statement.

All six suffered light wounds. Some were hospitalized.

The troops feared for their lives and opened fire on the protesters, the Border Police said.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said four Palestinians were injured, three of them seriously and one moderately, all allegedly from live fire.

The ministry said the three serious patients were undergoing surgery, two of them after taking bullets in the chest and one having been struck in the femoral artery.

The Border Police gendarmerie had entered the camp, which lies beyond the security barrier but is within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, in order to arrest three people wanted on suspicion of car theft.

Troops from the Israel Defense Forces eventually came in and arrested two of them, and all Israeli forces left the area, the Border Police said.

The Border Police did not say what type of fire was used in the incident, which also included the use of other riot control measures.

Relatives carry the body of 13-year-old Ali Abu Aliya who was reportedly shot dead by Israeli military forces during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians, during his funeral in al-Mughayyir village near the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The incident came days after the death of a Palestinian teenager who was reportedly shot by Israeli troops during a riot on Friday. According to Palestinian reports, Ali Abu Aliya, 13, was shot in the stomach during a violent protest in Kafr Malik in the central West Bank against the establishment of a new settlement outpost.

The IDF announced a probe of the incident on Sunday. The military initially denied using live ammunition to break up the protest, saying instead that it had only used less-lethal riot dispersal weapons like rubber-tipped bullets, but later admitted that soldiers had in fact used .22-caliber Ruger rounds. Those bullets, smaller than normal ones, are often used as riot dispersal weapons as they are generally considered less lethal, though they can kill especially if used incorrectly.

Abu Aliya was buried in his home village of al-Mughayyir on Saturday. Clashes broke out between Israeli security forces and Palestinians during his funeral.

Judah Ari Gross and Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

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