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Clashes as Israeli forces raid Salfit city center

Oct. 19, 2014 12:36 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2014 8:22 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Clashes broke out around dawn in the northern West Bank city of Salfit on Sunday as Israeli forces conducted a raid in the city center and launched dozens of tear gas canisters into residential areas.

Eyewitnesses said that an armed military convoy consisting of five patrol cars entered the city center and deliberately fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades into crowds, injuring a number of people, including a journalist on the scene named Khaled Maaleh.

Palestinian youths gathered around the military vehicles and pelted them with stones and empty bottles in response, chanting slogans against the Israeli military occupation and recent attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli military convoy had deliberately provoked the crowd, stopping locals in the street and checking ID cards.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Salfit is located in Area A, the less than 20 percent of the West Bank that is under Palestinian civil and military control according to the Oslo Accords.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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