Two dead in gunfight during West Bank house demolition


Ramallah (dpa) – Two Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded early Monday when a gunfight erupted as Israeli forces demolished the home of a militant in a central West Bank refugee camp, officials and witnesses said.

Soldiers drove into the camp after midnight and secured the area as bulldozers began demolishing the home of a Palestinian who shot dead an Israeli in a West Bank ambush in June, witnesses said.

Shots were exchanged, and Palestinians Ahmad Abu Eish, 28, and Laith Manasra, 21 were killed. A third was critically wounded and was undergoing surgery at Ramallah hospital, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“During the activity, suspects opened fire at the forces,” a military statement said. “In response to the immediate danger, forces fired towards the attackers. Three hits were confirmed.”

“In addition, hundreds of Palestinians attacked the force, hurling fire bombs, improvised explosive devices and rocks. Forces used riot dispersal means in order to disperse the mob,” it said.

Witnesses confirmed the army was met with strong resistance.

The operation ended early in the morning with the demolition of the top floor of the building where the family of Muhammad Abu Shaheen was living. Nearby houses in the congested Qalandiya camp were also damaged.

Shaheen shot dead an Israeli hiker near a West Bank spring after pretending to ask for directions on June 19, the army said. He is currently in Israeli custody.