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Al-Aqsa Brigades opens fire on Qalandia, injuring Israeli soldiers

July 26, 2014 1:15 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2014 8:35 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade early Thursday claimed responsibility for opening fire on Israeli forces at Qalandia checkpoint, launching a gun battle that they say wounded a number of Israeli soldiers.

The attack came a day after the largest march since the Second Intifada took place at the checkpoint, where more than 20,000 gathered to protest the ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said that the gun battle, which took place concurrently with massive marches across the West Bank, lasted at least twenty minutes.

The eyewitnesses confirmed that a group of gunmen shot towards the Israeli soldiers from the vicinity of the separation wall injuring soldiers there, launching a battle between the two sides.

The witnesses told Ma'an that bullets were fired from more than one area near the barrier, as Palestinian militants launched an ambush and fired intensely from three sides onto the Israeli soldiers.

Israeli reinforcements were moved in during the clashes as ambulances rushed to the scene to evacuate the wounded soldiers from the area, eyewitnesses said.

No information was available about the fate of the Al-Aqsa militants.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Eleven Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces in protests in solidarity with Gaza in the last four days.
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