Aida children, had overturned rubbish skips to form a blockade under the iconic “Key of Return” at the entrance of the camp, Bethlehem. (Credits: Iris Mark, PNN)

Violent clashes erupt between youths and soldiers at Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem

By AVAN CAIRA/ PNN/ Bethlehem/
Violent clashes broke out near Bethlehem, this afternoon (Sunday) in response to the shooting of Palestinian student Fadi Alloun in Jerusalem yesterday (Saturday).

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) fired tear gas and rubber bullets at around 100 protesters at Aida refugee camp between 4pm and 7pm.

The group, including some children, had overturned rubbish skips to form a blockade under the iconic “Key of Return” at the entrance of the camp. 

One  of the Palestinian children present, 12-year old Ahmed, said: “We’re here for the Martyrs. We’re here for Jerusalem”.

Aida youths set tires on fire during clashes with IOF.
Aida youths set tires on fire during clashes with IOF. (Iris Mark/ PNN)

Demonstrators threw stones, Molotov cocktails and home-made explosives at soldiers and eventually set fire to car tyres in the main entrance of the camp.

Red Crescent paramedics were present at the scene although no Palestinian casualties were reported.

Children holding rocks during clashes with IOF in Aida camp, Bethlehem. (Iris Mark/ PNN)
Children holding rocks during clashes with IOF in Aida camp, Bethlehem. (Iris Mark/ PNN)

Some protesters told reporters that a soldier had been injured in the leg by a home-made bomb and had to be rescued by military stretcher.

The crowd, which remained for around two hours, was dispersed when Israeli forces drove a military vehicle down the street that shot multiple tear gas canisters into the camp.

Residents continued to hear explosions of home-made bombs and shots being fired into the night.

Aida camp is situated directly opposite an Israeli military base and Rachel’s Tomb, both of which are enclosed by the apartheid wall, which also borders the west side of the camp.

It was established following the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) and is now home to around 6,000 Palestinian refugees.

Tensions in Palestine’s West bank remain high after yesterdays events in Jerusalem, in which two Palestinians and two Israelis were killed.

Aida youths set tires on fire during clashes with IOF. (Iris Mark/ PNN)

Over 100 Palestinians have been reported injured in the West Bank today.

Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian homes in Nablus and the surrounding villages on Thursday night after two settlers were shot and killed on Thursday evening.