'I washed blood off stairs': Palestinians describe Israeli raid on Ramallah that left 8 homeless

'I washed blood off stairs': Palestinians describe Israeli raid on Ramallah that left 8 homeless
"Confrontations were very violent, it looked like a battleground, and at sunrise, they detonated the house," a resident said.
4 min read
West Bank
09 June, 2023
The detonated house belonged to the family of 27-year-old Islam Froukh, home to both his parents and his five sisters. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

A Palestinian family of eight, including an 11-year-old child, was made homeless after Israeli forces detonated their house during a military raid on Ramallah early on Thursday.

The apartment belonged to the family of 27-year-old Islam Froukh, arrested by Israeli forces last December on accusations of being behind a bomb attack in Jerusalem that killed two Israelis.

According to residents, Israeli forces raided the old town of the city known as 'lower Ramallah' late on Wednesday and headed to the building where the Froukhs apartment was located.

House demolition Ramallah / Qassam Muaddi
Froukh's house was home to his parents and five sisters [Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

"The occupation closed all entries to lower Ramallah and spread soldiers on almost all streets," a young restaurant keeper in lower Ramallah, who asked not to be named, told The New Arab.

"They spent the whole night preparing explosives to detonate the apartment, while young men from the neighbourhood confronted them with stones and Molotov cocktails," he said. "Confrontations were very violent, it looked like a battleground, the occupation soldiers fired live bullets, and many people were injured, and at sunrise, they detonated the house."

Among the injured was Palestinian journalist Momen Samreen, who was hit in the back of the head while covering the raid by a shot from the Israeli forces. 

"Momen was injured while doing his work, covering the raid in lower Ramallah with other colleagues, when one of them called me and said that he was injured, so the whole family rushed to the hospital," his brother Mohammad, present at the Ramallah hospital, told TNA.

"The bullet scratched the back of his head and did a little damage to the skull, but fortunately didn't straightly hit him, and his condition is now stable," he added.

"The occupation forces were shooting all the time, while young men were running back and forth, throwing stones at the occupation forces and then taking cover," another resident in her twenties told TNA.

House demolition Ramallah / Qassam Muaddi
Debris from the explosion by Israeli forces of the Froukhs house, in Ramallah, broke the glass of neighbouring houses. [Qasam Muaddi/TNA]

“A young man came to take cover at the entrance of our building, and a live bullet in the waist wounded him," she said. "After the raid ended and the occupation withdrew, I came down and washed his blood off the stairs while the municipality workers were cleaning away stones and debris from the streets."

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported four Palestinians injured by Israeli fire, and one was treated for asphyxiation with tear gas during the Israeli raid on Ramallah.

At Froukh's house location, Israeli forces evacuated the entire building and surrounding houses, before sealing off the street until the morning.

"The occupation ordered all 15 families in the building and surrounding houses out to the playground of a nearby school, and then took over the apartment and began to plant explosives in it," Fadel Froukh, Islam's uncle, told TNA.

"At 6:00 am, they blew up the apartment, and the debris flew across the street, breaking the windows of neighbouring houses," he described.

"The family includes Islam's parents, his five sisters, the youngest being 11 years old, in addition to Islam himself, all of whom are now homeless," he pointed out.

At the site, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, addressed the media, condemning the Israeli raid, describing it as "a collective displacement".

Shtayyeh / Qassam Muaddi
Shtayyeh speaking at the Froukh's house in Ramallah on Thursday. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Shtayyeh also said that Israel was "carrying out a full-scale re-invasion of the West Bank through its daily raids into Palestinian towns and cities, protected by the immobility and double standards of the international community".

Also on Wednesday, Israeli forces raided the refugee camp of Aqbat Jabr in Jericho for a second time in 24 hours and handed in a house demolition of 46-year-old Maher Shloun.

Israeli forces arrested Shloun in early March and accused him of shooting attacks against Israelis in the Jordan Valley. Shloun's house was threatened with demolition, despite it being the home to his wife and three children.

House demolition Ramallah / Qassam Muaddi
Palestinian families returned to their homes in the morning, in the surroundings of the detonated house, after being evacuated by Israeli forces during the night. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Israeli forces raided Aqbat Jabr on Wednesday and wounded six Palestinians. Israeli forces also raided the village of Kufr Dan, west of Jenin, where they injured one Palestinian and arrested four.

The mayor of Kufr Dan, Ahmed Marei, told Palestinian media that Israeli forces "conducted field interrogations with citizens after having raided their homes".

Israeli raids on Palestinian communities have increased since last year, claiming the lives of more than 150 Palestinians since the beginning of 2023.

Israeli forces systematically destroy the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks against Israelis, displacing their family members. Human rights groups have described this policy as "collective punishment" and a potential war crime.