Ramallah: 4 civilians killed by IDF
During operation to locate wanted Palestinians, special IDF force surrounds building in Ramallah. One wanted man manages to escape after being injured by IDF, four others arrested. Intense battle rages between Palestinians, soldiers in city. Four Palestinians killed, 18 others wounded. IDF soldier very lightly wounded. President Abbas condemns army raid
Palestinian sources in town said that one of the people injured is Rabia Hamed, a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member. The sources also claimed that none of those arrested by the army in the course of the operation is an operative of the organization.
An IDF soldier was very lightly injured by shrapnel during the clashes.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas harshly condemned the IDF's arrest operation in Ramallah on Thursday, saying it ''proved that the Israeli calls for peace and security are insincere.''
In a written statement on Thursday, Abbas said: "The continued aggression will only lead to the destruction of all efforts aimed at realizing peace."
The confrontations developed during the operation of a special IDF force in the city. A special IDF force surrounded a building in Ramallah in which wanted Palestinians were hiding. During the operation, the force identified a wanted man who intended to shoot at the soldiers. The soldiers shot and wounded him, but he managed to escape.
Clashes between Palestinians and IDF in Ramallah (Photo: AFP)
The IDF reported that during the operation, four wanted Palestinians were arrested, who were subsequently transferred to the security forces for investigation. There were disturbances on site, which included gun battles and stone-throwing.
In the course of the operation, Palestinian rioters fired at the soldiers and hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at their direction.
According to the Palestinians, some of the injured are youths who threw stones at the IDF forces, and that the IDF prevented ambulances from approaching the area. After the operation concluded, masses of people took to the streets in protest.
A special IDF force is also operating in Bethlehem in order to locate and arrest a wanted Tanzim member. During an attempt to arrest him, he tried to escape, and was shot and wounded. The wanted man was transferred to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment.
Unite ranks against Israel
Following the IDF operation hundreds of Palestinian took to the streets of Ramallah in protest, calling for revenge and for Palestinians to unite against Israel. Palestinian groups said in response that the operation proves that Palestinians must not pick up arms against Palestinians. "The operation proves that the Israeli occupation is the enemy," they said.
Dr. Saeb Erikat, head of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, said that in the light of the incidents in Ramallah there is increasing shame over the images of casualties of Palestinian infighting in Gaza. A Hamas spokesman said that the operation proves that there is no room for internal struggles and that the ranks must be united against Israel.
Palestinians expressed their outrage over the destruction of businesses and cars caused by IDF APC's and engineering vehicles in the area of the operation.
Efrat Weiss contributed to the report