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Clashes erupt as Israeli forces raid Qalandiya to demolish home

April 20, 2016 10:03 A.M. (Updated: April 20, 2016 3:29 P.M.)
Images released by the Israeli army show a punitive home demolition taking place in Hebron last month. (Source: Israeli army)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- At least eight Palestinians were wounded in fierce clashes that broke out in Qalandiya refugee camp early Wednesday after Israeli forces stormed the camp to demolish the family home of a slain Palestinian attacker.

Local sources said Israeli forces entered the camp to tear down the interior walls of the home of 17-year-old Hussein Abu Ghosh, who was shot dead on Jan. 25 when he and another young Palestinian stabbed two Israelis, killing one of them, in the illegal West Bank settlement of Beit Horon.

As the demolition was carried out, fierce clashes broke out, and local sources told Ma'an that at least eight young residents of the refugee camp were shot and wounded, although their condition was initially unclear.

Sources said Israeli forces also detained resident Hasan Sajadiya after he was shot and injured, and were also reported to have ransacked the home of resident Nasser Shaham.

Israeli media reported that two Israeli soldiers sustained minor wounds during the raid.

Qalandiya refugee camp has been a focal point of violence since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October. As many as 15 of the camp's residents have been killed, either while attacking Israelis or during clashes.

Israeli soldiers have carried out routine raids into the camp's narrow streets, often leading to violence. Last month, two Palestinians were shot and fatally wounded when two soldiers stumbled into the camp -- saying it was by accident -- causing the Israeli army to flood the camp with troops searching for them.

Qalandiya saw another punitive home demolition in October, carried out on the home of a young resident who had shot and killed an Israeli hiker near a spring outside Ramallah.

Punitive home demolitions were expedited at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in mid-October, and many have been carried out across the occupied Palestinian territory since.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice does not deter attacks, and Israeli rights group B’Tselem has condemned the practice as "court sanctioned revenge," carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.
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