IDF raids Palestinian refugee camp where soldier was killed
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IDF raids Palestinian refugee camp where soldier was killed

Reports of clashes between soldiers and local residents in al-Am’ari near Ramallah days after large marble slab was dropped on serviceman during arrest operation

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A large IDF force entered the al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank on Monday, apparently searching for the attacker who fatally wounded an Israeli soldier last week by dropping a marble slab on his head.

Reports said there were ongoing clashes between the soldiers who were carrying out house to house searches and local residents.

At least 13 Palestinians were lightly or moderately injured during the raid as clashes broke out, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets at rioters who hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the IDF soldiers, media reported. There were no reports of injuries to Israeli security forces.

The soldiers were reportedly searching for the killer of Ronen Lubarsky, 20, a soldier in an elite unit was wounded Thursday when a marble slab was dropped on his head during an IDF operation to arrest suspected terrorists in al-Am’ari.

Young Palestinian men clash with Israeli soldiers in the al- Amari refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank after troops stormed the camp on May 28, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

The IDF had no immediate comment.

Images shared Monday on social media showed groups of IDF vehicles in the camp.

Palestinians sources said seven people were arrested.

Hadashot news reported that the army surrounded one building in which the attacker who dropped the marble slab was believed to be hiding.

The heavy slab which hit Lubarsky was thrown from a third-story rooftop at a group of troops conducting an arrest raid early Thursday morning in the refugee camp, the army said. The assailant was not fired upon, the army said, because he was not identified, and managed to escape.

Lubarsky was hospitalized in critical condition at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem’s intensive care unit. He died Saturday and was laid to rest early Sunday morning at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. The army posthumously promoted him to the rank of staff sergeant.

Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)

On Thursday, the IDF revealed that the soldiers had been on a mission to arrest members of a terror cell who had been carrying out shooting attacks. One member of the cell was nabbed during the raid and two others later on Thursday, the army said.

The raid was based on intelligence information obtained in coordination with the Shin Bet security agency.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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