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Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian, detain 2 in Duheisha camp raid

Aug. 1, 2016 10:25 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2016 8:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces Monday morning shot and injured a young Palestinian man during a raid in al-Duheisha refugee camp and detained two others said to be operatives for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to Palestinian and Israeli security sources.

Locals told Ma’an that at 6 a.m., undercover Israeli forces in a civilian vehicle raided al-Duheisha -- located just south of central Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank -- to carry out detentions.

Local youth noticed the suspicious vehicle and surrounded it before they clashed with the undercover officers. A young man, who remained unidentified, was shot in the leg during the clashes.

Israeli military vehicles then stormed the camp and together with the undercover officers managed, despite the clashes, to detain Mustafa al-Hasanat, 23, and Yazan Jueidi, 23.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians were detained in the raid, who were both suspected of being PFLP operatives.

Witnesses said an Israeli soldier was hit by a stone in the upper extremities and was evacuated in a military ambulance.

The Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of both the gunshot injury and the Israeli army soldier's injury.

Violent clashes in al-Duheisha are common and break out nearly every time Israeli forces enter the camp, which is located in Area A and should be under full Palestinian Authority control according to the Oslo agreements.

Al-Duheisha refugee camp was established in 1949, with most of the families originating from more than 46 villages in Jerusalem. Over 13,000 refugees now live in the 0.352-square-kilometer camp, where around one-third of residents are unemployed.

At least two camp residents -- 19-year-old PFLP supporter Malik Akram Shahin and Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, 27 -- have been shot dead by Israeli forces during detention raids and clashes since unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

Al-Duheisha has also been the site of recent sit-ins held in support of imprisoned PFLP-member Bilal Kayid who entered his 48th day without food Monday in protest of his administrative detention by Israel. Scores of other Palestinian prisoners -- particularly those affiliated to the PFLP -- have launched hunger strikes in solidarity,

The PFLP is considered a terrorist group by the United States, the EU, and Israel. For Palestinians, the group -- founded by a Christian doctor, George Habash -- is the most popular political faction for secular leftists.

Israel also considers the majority of Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations." As a result, most Palestinians who participate in the political arena in the occupied Palestinian territory risk being imprisoned by Israeli authorities.

Israeli forces have carried out a weekly average of some 81 search and detention operations and injured over 2,370 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the start of 2016 in the occupied Palestinian territory, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Meanwhile, according to Palestinian and Israeli security sources, at least 25 total Palestinians were detained during raids conducted across the occupied West Bank, in the districts of Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Qalqiliya, and Bethlehem.
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