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7 Palestinians, 2 Israeli soldiers injured during clashes near home of slain gunman

Oct. 9, 2016 5:28 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2016 8:22 P.M.)
(Photo from Jerusalem Center for Information)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Seven young Palestinian men were injured on Sunday in the village of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, after clashes erupted with Israeli forces who stormed the town to raid the home of Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was shot and killed by Israeli police earlier in the day after carrying out a deadly drive-by shooting in occupied East Jerusalem.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the home of Abu Sbeih, who was originally from Silwan, and interrogated a number of his family members.

Following the raid, local Palestinian youth gathered outside of the home in protest, sparking clashes with Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at the crowd.

Seven Palestinians were injured, including an unspecified number who were shot with rubber bullets.

In addition, one male and one female Israeli soldier were hit by stones hurled by locals, and were evacuated to a nearby hospital.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports.

The 39-year-old slain Palestinian attacker was well known in the community for his activities at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and had spent a total of 39 months in Israeli custody.

Although he told Ma’an via telephone a day prior to the shooting that he was planning to turn himself in to Israeli authorities on Sunday morning to face charges of assaulting an Israeli police officer at Al-Aqsa in 2013, he instead carried out the shooting attack.

Tensions around occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound were a main contributor to a wave of unrest that began in October 2015, after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during the Jewish holiday season this time last year.

The 39-year-old gunman was the 232nd Palestinian to be killed by Israelis amid the violence, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians. The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons.

However, a number of attempted and actual shooting attacks have targeted Israelis over the past year. A total of 17 Palestinians have been killed while committing shooting attacks, while 16 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian gunmen.

Over the past year, Israel has responded to attacks and alleged attacks through severe security measures which rights groups say amount to collective punishment and a violation of international law. The measures have including widespread raids and detention campaigns targeting the families of slain attackers, imposing blockades on entire villages, and revoking travel permits for thousands of Palestinians, and punitive home demolitions.
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