IDF soldiers come under fire in Qalandia riot
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IDF soldiers come under fire in Qalandia riot

Palestinian throws pipe bomb at troops operating in Jenin; no injuries reported in either incident

Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers during a protest at the Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 5, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers during a protest at the Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 5, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Shots were fired at IDF troops overnight Monday during a riot in the West Bank town of Qalandia north of Jerusalem.

Soldiers came to the Qalandia refugee camp late at night to arrest a suspected Hamas operative, prompting a violent protest by residents, who threw stones and shot at the troops, an IDF spokesperson said.

In response, the soldiers fired their rifles in the air to disperse the crowd, the army official said. No injuries were reported on either side.

The suspects believed to be involved in the shooting as well as the alleged Hamas terrorist have been transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.

Qalandia has been a flashpoint during the recent violence, with a number of attackers emanating from the town. Last week two Palestinians from Qalandia carried out a stabbing attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City in which two Israelis were killed. The attackers, both shot and killed by security forces during the incident, were identified as Anan Abu Habsah and Issa Assaf.

On December 18 a Palestinian was shot and wounded as he tried to drive his car into security forces at the Qalandia crossing near Ramallah. No Israelis were hurt in the incident.

In the West Bank town of Jenin overnight Monday, a pipe bomb was hurled at soldiers who were operating in the West Bank town of Jenin. No injuries were reported in that incident either.

The army has stepped up its routine nightly raids in West Bank towns and villages as a wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks continues across the country. Over 20 Israelis have been killed in such attacks since October.

The IDF said eight Palestinian suspects were arrested overnight Monday. One of the detainees is suspected of direct involvement in recent attacks on civilians and security forces, the army said.

The suspects were transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.

The army also prepared for demolition the homes of two Palestinian men who carried out a terror attack earlier this week.

IDF military engineers conducted a pre-demolition survey at the homes of Palestinian attackers Mahmoud and Noor Sabana in the West Bank village of Qabatia. The two were shot dead Sunday during a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier in a village south of Nablus.

One soldier suffered moderate stab wounds during the attack and another other sustained light injuries from gunfire directed at the attackers, paramedics and the army said.

The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by nongovernmental groups, but officials have defended its use as a deterrent against future attacks. Critics claim that in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to launch attacks themselves.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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