Some 35 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IDF troops in the southern West Bank on Tuesday, according to Palestinian medical officials.
The clashes erupted when a large convoy of Israeli military vehicles entered the al-Fawar refugee camp, near the flashpoint city of Hebron, witnesses said.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said live fire struck about 10 people after rioters threw large rocks at Israeli troops. It says the 25 others were struck by rubber bullets.
The IDF said its forces were on an overnight operation “to uncover weaponry” in the camp, when “dozens of Palestinians hurled IEDs (improvised explosive devices), blocks and rocks” at them.
Dozens of Palestinians reported wounded at al-Fawwar Refugee Camp by Israeli occupation live fire pic.twitter.com/MFJLSL3uuO
— Palestine Video (@PalestineVideo) August 16, 2016
The troops “responded with riot dispersal means and fired 0.22 caliber bullets toward main instigators,” an IDF spokeswoman said, adding that the troops had found “two improvised handguns, other weapons and ammunition.”
The military said it fired toward the riot’s main instigators to try to prevent escalation. The clashes continued until around noon, an AFP photographer reported.
The army closed off the Fawar camp for 26 days last month after a gunman belonging to a Hamas terror cell fired on a car carrying an Israeli family on a nearby West Bank road, causing the vehicle to crash. The driver, Rabbi Miki Mark from Otniel, was killed and his wife and two children were injured in the attack.
Israel arrested more than a dozen Palestinians in connection with the terror attack.
The Israeli army has also been clamping down on Palestinian workshops manufacturing arms in the West Bank.
The Hebron area has been a key center of a wave of deadly violence that has rocked Israel and the Palestinian territories since last October.
The violence has killed 34 Israelis and four foreign nationals in the string of Palestinians attacks. Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed in that time period, most of them while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Israeli authorities say.