IDF rescues 2 soldiers from Qalandiya refugee camp

The IDF rescued two soldiers who fled their vehicle after it was attacked in the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem late Monday night, the IDF said.

After approximately an hour, both soldiers were safely extracted from the West Bank refugee camp. No Israelis were reported injured in the incident, according to an IDF spokesperson. In subsequent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians, a Palestinian man was killed.

Just before 11:00, two non-combat soldiers from the Oketz K-9 unit entered the refugee camp in the central West Bank for as yet unknown reasons. As they drove through, a group of Palestinians attacked their vehicle with rocks and firebombs. The jeep caught fire, forcing the two to flee the scene, the IDF said.

As they fled, the pair separated. “One of them made phone contact almost immediately, and within 20-30 minutes the (rescuers) had reached him. The second one took about an hour to make contact, and then (it became possible to) pick him up,” an army spokesperson said.

The incident will be investigated in order to discover “what the circumstances were that led them into the camp,” as the pair did not appear to be on a mission and were not combat soldiers, the IDF said.

It was not immediately known if the two soldiers had an IDF dog with them, as they serve in the army’s K-9 unit.

Palestinians reported an ongoing firefight between the soldiers and local residents following the incident. An army spokesperson couldn’t confirm the reports, however.

Additional army and Border Police troops entered the refugee camp in order to quell the ongoing riot as well as retrieve the burned vehicle, according to the IDF.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured and at least one killed in clashes with IDF troops, according to Walla news. The Palestinian man killed in the skirmish was identified as 22-year-old Iyad Amr Sajdiyeh, an Al-Quds University student from Qalandia, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.

Palestinian media reported three IDF soldiers injured, but there was no immediate confirmation of the reports.


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