Clashes Erupt as Israeli Forces Raid Ramallah in the West Bank
Israeli forces staged an unusual raid into the Palestinian city of Ramallah on Thursday in the occupied West Bank. According to the military, the mission was to destroy the home of a suspect reportedly responsible for a prior bombing in Jerusalem. Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators got into a fight after the event.
According to eyewitnesses, a sizable military convoy reached the centre of Ramallah, which houses the Palestinian government. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the neighbourhood as the caravan approached. When Israeli forces used live ammunition, stun grenades or tear gas, some Palestinian youngsters retaliated by throwing stones. Flaming trash cans blocked roads, and ambulance sirens could be heard in the chaotic scene. Three people who received gunshot wounds were among the at least six people who were admitted to the hospital, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
According to the Israeli military, its troops invaded Ramallah to destroy the home of the suspected terrorist who is believed to be responsible for the November bombing incident in Jerusalem. Two people were killed in the attack, one of whom was an Israeli-Canadian youngster, and at least 14 others were hurt. Improvised devices at bus stops close to the city’s exit and a crossroads leading to a settlement set off the explosions.
The destruction of the combatants’ homes as a kind of collective punishment was denounced by Abdel Fattah Dola, a member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, who also charged the Israeli occupation with committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. Israel, however, contends that the practice of destroying homes acts as both a punishment and a deterrent to potential assailants.
Before the conflict in Ramallah, prominent Palestinian official Hussein Al-Sheikh and Hady Amr, the U.S. envoy to the Palestinians, met. In the West Bank, particularly in the areas where Palestinians want to form a state, violence has increased during the past few months. In reaction to a string of Palestinian street attacks in its cities, Israel has intensified its military operations.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since January. On the other hand, the Israeli foreign ministry claimed that over the same time, Palestinian attacks claimed the lives of 20 Israelis and two foreigners. As tensions between Israelis and Palestinians persist, efforts to bring about peace and stability in the region are hampered.