Palestinian killed, five Border Police hurt in Qalandia clashes

timesofisrael

A Palestinian man was killed, dozens more were injured and at least five Israeli Border Police officers were wounded in fierce clashes Tuesday morning in the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem.

Army and Border Police troops entered the refugee camp in order to quell a riot after a pair of Israeli soldiers entered Qalandia in an apparent error Monday night.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured and at least one killed in the late night clashes with IDF troops, according to Palestinian reports.

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 Ma’an news agency.

Among Israeli forces, one soldier sustained moderate injuries and the rest were listed in fair condition after being taken to a Jerusalem hospital, according to Israeli media reports.

The fighting ignited after two IDF soldiers apparently drove an army vehicle mistakenly into Qalandia and came under a barrage of Molotov cocktails and stones.

The soldiers fled their vehicle after it was attacked and set alight. After approximately an hour, both soldiers were safely extracted from the West Bank refugee camp.

Palestinian gunmen march during a rally at the Qalandia refugee camp on November 16, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian gunmen march during a rally at the Qalandia refugee camp on November 16, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Just before 11:00, two non-combat soldiers from the Oketz K-9 unit entered the refugee camp, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, 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.

Media reports indicated that there were exchanges of live fire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in the refugee camp, which has been the scene of violent clashes in the past.

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.

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