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6 Palestinians injured in Qalandiya as Israeli forces carry out demolitions

Jan. 18, 2017 1:19 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 8:38 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Six Palestinian youths were injured by Israeli forces in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank Ramallah district during clashes that began late Tuesday night and went on into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Israeli forces raided the refugee camp for more than five hours, according to locals, who said Israeli bulldozers also demolished several steel structures and tents that served as car-washes and mobile stores near the Qalandiya checkpoint.

Clashes erupted shortly after Israeli forces began the five hour raid, with local Palestinian youth throwing rocks, empty bottles and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers who fired back with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear-gas bombs, injuring six "youths."

The exact ages of the injured and the nature of their injuries remained unclear.

Locals added that Israeli forces sprayed skunk water at youths, and that Israeli military reinforcements were deployed at the entrance of the refugee camp throughout the raid.

The Israeli border police also prevented Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances from reaching the refugee camp to treat injuries, while Palestinian Civil Defense forces were prevented from entering the camp to put out a fire that erupted after a cargo truck carrying vehicles was hit by a tear-gas bomb.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Last week, three Palestinian youths were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes with Israeli forces in the nearby al-Jalazun refugee camp, and on Monday, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian during clashes in the southern occupied West Bank village of Tuqu.

Israeli forces have come under harsh criticism in recent months for what rights groups have deemed as “excessive force” against protesters and people who did not pose an immediate danger or threat at the time.
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