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Violent Israeli raid in Duheisha refugee camp leaves 5 Palestinians injured

March 15, 2017 9:57 A.M. (Updated: March 15, 2017 10:42 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Five Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces opened live fire at locals during a predawn detention raid Wednesday in Duheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.

Locals told Ma'an that fierce clashes broke out between local youth and Israeli troops who raided the camp around dawn to detain one young Palestinian man from his home, identified as former prisoner Murad Zghari.

Three young men were injured during the clashes, identified by locals as Ahmad al-Jiwi, Muath Abu Nasser, and Muhammad Faris Fararja.

Witnesses and family members told Ma'an that 40-year-old Iyad Ibrahim Ramadan was shot in the leg while he was standing on the rooftop of his home in the camp, before his brothers Mahmoud and Shadi rushed him to a car to drive him to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala.

As they were driving through the neighboring village of Doha, Israeli troops opened fire on their car. Mahmoud, 34, sustained injuries after being hit in the head with shrapnel. Shadi, who was driving the car, was unharmed.

The Ramadan brothers are the sons of the Jenin governor Ibrahim Ramadan, who also lives in Duheisha refugee camp. Family members who witnessed the incident told Ma'an that the three men survived by "miracle" after Israeli troops "showered their vehicle with gunshots."

In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a "violent riot" occurred in Duheisha during "a routine military activity," saying locals threw cement blocks and explosive devices at Israeli forces who "responded to the threat by firing towards rioters."

The spokesperson said that four people were injured, but did not confirm Mahmoud Ramadan's injury and did not comment on why Israeli forces opened fire on the vehicle.

The spokesperson also confirmed that one person was detained during the raid.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank. Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

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