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Clashes break out as Israeli forces storm Shufat refugee camp, detain 25

Jan. 4, 2017 6:45 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2017 10:37 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Clashes broke out in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon after Jerusalem municipality crews and inspectors stormed the camp under heavy armed protection.

Thaer al-Fasfous, spokesman for the Fatah movement in the camp, told Ma'an that dozens of armed Israeli police officers escorted Jerusalem municipality crews into the camp who began breaking into shops for “inspection.”

During the raid, local youths clashed with Israeli forces in attempts to prevent the soldiers from advancing through the camp. Israeli forces and municipality crews then withdrew to the military checkpoint at the entrance to Shufat, firing tear gas heavily in the streets.

Al-Fasfous highlighted that before clashes broke out, municipality inspectors delivered fines to a number of stores claiming that they operated "illegally".

He added that Israeli forces detained some 25 young Palestinian men who were holders of West Bank ID cards.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an he had “no confirmation” of the reports.

A spokesperson from the Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available for comment.

Shufat refugee camp is located in northeastern Jerusalem within Israel's municipal boundaries of the city, but is encircled on three sides by Israel’s separation wall, forcing residents to pass through a congested military checkpoint to access the rest of Jerusalem where most claim residency status.

In September, the camp experienced at least seven consecutive days of violent raids in the weeks following a fatal shooting of a camp resident by Israeli forces while he was driving home. Meanwhile, the camp is routinely the site of violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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.
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