Violence erupts as Israeli raid leaves two Palestinians dead

Violence erupts as Israeli raid leaves two Palestinians dead
2 min read
16 December, 2015
Two Palestinians were shot dead and a number injured as Israeli troops raided a refugee camp in Ramallah on Wednesday, in the occupied West Bank.

Clashes erupted in the West Bank after an Israeli army raid on a Ramallah refugee camp on Wednesday left two Palestinians dead.

Another four Palestinians were wounded in the attack on the Qalandiya refugee camp the Palestinian health ministry said.

The camp lies close to an Israeli checkpoint leading to occupied Jerusalem.

Witnesses said clashes broke out after Israeli troops raided the camp and lasted for several hours.

Two cars were left riddled with bullet holes and three men were taken away by Israeli troops, sources on social media said.

Ahmad Jahajha, aged 21, and Hekmat Hamdan, whose age was not disclosed, were killed in the Israeli attack.

"Tonight, during an operation to make arrests of wanted Palestinians and to seize arms in Qalandiya refugee camp, two attempted car-ramming attacks were made against security forces in two different parts of the camp," the Israeli army said in a statement.

Military sources said the attack came as a car attempted to ram into Israeli army squad.

Three Israeli soldiers have been injured - one seriously -however, Israel said the troops could have been injured from friendly fire.

The raid came amid after repeated clashes between Palestinians - often armed with knives - and the Israeli military, since the beginning October.

The violence had left 119 Palestinians dead and 17 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.

Last month at Qalandiya, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians when heavy clashes erupted during an operation to demolish the home of an alleged attacker, part of a series of punitive measures taken by Israel.

Qalandiya camp was established in 1949 in the wake of the creation of Israel and has grown into a densely populated town with 11,000 registered refugees.

On Tuesday, the UN human rights office voiced deep concern over an "unacceptable" wave of Palestinians attacking Israelis, but also criticised Israeli authorities' reported "excessive use of force" in response to the attacks.

"We continue to be gravely concerned at the unrelenting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel," Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters.

"We call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act decisively to de-escalate the situation," she added.

Pouilly warned that although international attention appeared to be waning, "the level of killings, injuries and arrests has continued, with an average of one person dying every day".