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Palestinian shot dead in Qalandiya clashes in day's 4th death

Dec. 24, 2015 3:38 P.M. (Updated: April 19, 2016 3:34 P.M.)
Israeli security forces take position at Qalandiya checkpoint during clashes with Palestinian protesters (AFP/File)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Violence continued Christmas Eve day when a Palestinian was shot dead during clashes with Israeli military forces in the Qalandiya refugee camp, the fourth to be killed in the occupied West Bank within hours.

Three Palestinians were shot dead earlier Thursday after carrying out separate attacks that left three Israelis injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had entered the Qalandiya refugee camp in order to arrest suspects involved in an attack earlier in the day.

The forces opened fire when they were “assaulted by a violent mob” that included gunmen and Palestinians throwing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, and stones, the spokesperson said. Israeli soldiers then opened fire towards the gunmen, confirming a hit.

Locals identified the Palestinian killed as 23-year-old Bilal Zayed.

Hours before clashes erupted, another Qalandiya refugee camp resident was killed when he rammed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers posted near the illegal Geva Benyamin settlement, the Israeli army told Ma’an following the attack.

Israeli forces opened fire and killed the driver, identified by locals as Wisam Abu Ghwaila, 22. One Israeli soldier was "very lightly wounded" in the attack, the spokesperson added.

Eiad Jamal Issa Ideis, 25, was also shot dead Thursday after attempting to stab Israeli soldiers with a screwdriver at the Ari military checkpoint near Hebron.

The attack attempt took place around an hour after a Palestinian stabbed and injured two Israeli security guards in the illegal Ariel settlement north of Salfit. The man, identified as Muhammad Zahran Abdul-Halim Zahran, 22, was killed by forces on scene.

Thursday’s deaths were the latest in a wave of violence that increased across the occupied Palestinian territory in October and continued through December.

Two Palestinians on Wednesday were shot dead after they killed one Israeli and injured another in a stab attack at the Jaffa Gate of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. Another Israeli was also killed by live fire from Israeli border guards who opened fire on the attackers.

Both Palestinians who carried out the attack -- in addition to two of those killed today -- were from the Qalandiya refugee camp.

The area has recently been site to heightened tensions between residents and Israeli forces, with two Palestinians killed in the refugee camp last week after attempting to run over Israeli soldiers carrying out a predawn arrest raid.

Clashes between armed Palestinians from the refugee camp and Israeli military forces have also broken out several times over the last month.

Bilal Zayed, 23, Qalandiya refugee camp resident
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