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Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians in Qalandiya refugee camp

Nov. 16, 2015 9:56 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 6:39 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in the Qalandiya refugee camp at dawn on Monday during a raid to demolish the home of an alleged Palestinian attacker, witnesses said.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed Laith Assad Manasra, 21, and Ahmad Abu al-Aish, 28, as clashes broke out following a raid involving hundreds of Israeli forces in the densely populated refugee camp.

Dozens of other Palestinians were injured in the clashes, with Yusuf Abu Latifa, 17, critically wounded. Witnesses said Israeli forces stopped an ambulance he was being carried in and detained him while he was en route to hospital.

Israeli soldiers forced residents to evacuate their homes in the camp before demolishing the top floor of an apartment belonging to Muhammad Abu Shahin.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian ambulances attempting to reach those wounded in the raid.

Israeli forces entered the camp from all sides after closing off nearby roads and the Qalandiya military checkpoint.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that Israeli forces entered the camp in order to demolish the home of Muhammad Abu Shahin, a suspect in the killing of an Israeli settler on June 19 near the settlement of Dolevnorthwest of Ramallah.

"During the activity, suspects opened fire at the forces. In response to the immediate danger, forces fired towards the attackers. 3 hits were confirmed," Israel's army said.

"In addition, hundreds of Palestinians attacked the force, hurling fire bombs, IEDs and rocks. Forces used riot dispersal means in order to disperse the mob," the Israeli army added.

The demolition of Shahin’s home came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed to legally expedite punitive demolitions of homes belonging to Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis.

Palestinian gunmen inside of the refugee camp -- believed to be affiliated with Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades -- have opened fire on Israeli forces in at least two instances last month, preventing Israeli forces from carrying out demolitions.

Israeli authorities overnight Friday demolished four homes belonging to the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly attacks on Israeli settlers.

In the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the homes of Yahia Haj Hamed, Samir Zahir Kusa, and Kerem Lutfi Razek were destroyed, the army said in a statement.

The three were detained on Oct. 5 along with two others after Israel’s Shin Bet identified them as responsible for killing two Israeli settlers on Oct. 1.

In the Ramallah-area town of Silwad, the Israeli army reported that forces demolished the residence of Maad Hamad, who they said killed an Israeli settler on June 29.

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