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Overnight Israeli military raid sparks clashes, leaving Israeli soldier injured

Dec. 23, 2016 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2016 2:48 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained at least eight Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Friday, with a raid into the Balata refugee camp sparking clashes that, according to the Israeli army, left one Israeli soldier moderately injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after Israeli troops entered the Balata refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, “assailants opened fire at security forces. As a result, a soldier was wounded and evacuated to a hospital for further treatment.”

Israeli media sites reported that the soldier’s injury, a live gunshot wound to the leg, was between medium and stable, adding that during the clashes Israeli forces also opened live fire at Palestinian youths.

The Israeli army spokesperson said that two Palestinian suspects were detained in the raid, and that weapons were also seized.

Meanwhile, west of Nablus in the village of al-Nabi Elyas in the Qalqiliya district, Israeli forces detained four Palestinian youths late Thursday night.

Locals identified the detainees as Hussam Hassan Hannoun, brothers Asaad and Usama Riyad Khleif, and Hakam Muhammad Khleif.

The detainees were taken to the Ariel interrogation center for allegedly throwing rocks, the sources said.

In the southern occupied West Bank town of Dura in the Hebron district, locals said Israeli forces detained Amjad Youssef al-Nammura after raiding and searching his house in the middle of the night.

Al-Nammura has reportedly been wanted by Israel for four years and is accused of opening fire at an Israeli army vehicle.

Israeli troops also raided the Dura suburb of al-Tabaqa west of the town, surrounded the al-Fasfous family house and demanded that Hassan al-Fasfous turn himself, while shooting stun grenades and tear-gas bombs at the house.

Israeli soldiers raided and searched the home and interrogated the al-Fasfous family, who eventually were able to convince the Israeli army, after considerable effort, that Hassan was not in the house.

Hassan’s brother said that Israeli intelligence called him and demanded that he and all of his male family members turn themselves into the Etzion detention center for interrogation regarding his brother’s location.

Members of the al-Fasfous family told Ma’an that they have no information regarding Hassan’s whereabouts.

An Israeli army spokesperson later told Ma’an a Palestinian had been detained overnight in al-Tabaqa, though their identity remained unknown.

Israeli forces also reportedly raided the town of Sair east of Hebron city overnight and confiscated thousands of shekels claiming that the funds were to be used in attacks against Israel, according to Israeli media reports in Hebrew. The Israeli army had reportedly received information that the money would be used for “terrorist activities.” An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into the matter for more details.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, with Israeli forces commonly detaining Palestinians without evidence of any wrongdoing.

Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt from protesting local Palestinian youth who are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal injuries.

During overnight raids Wednesday, Israeli forces shot and killed 19-year-old Ahmad al-Kharroubi, after he allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers during clashes that erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab.

Al-Kharroubi was the 245th Palestinian to be killed by Israelis since October 2015, amid a period when at least 67 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or police and army raids.
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