Omar, 22. Photo by: al-Quds News.

Palestinian killed overnight, Qalandia Refugee Camp

PNN/Ramallah

A Palestinian young man was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and 15 others were wounded during clashes after the IOF stormed into the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, at dawn on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent identified the victim as Omar Abu Iyad Sadjadah, 22. He was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.

The Red Crescent added that four other youths were wounded with live ammunition, while more than 12 others were injured with rubber bullets and fragments of lead and choking tear gas.

Locals fastly took Omar to the nearest hospital, the Palestine Medical Complex, however, when they arrived at the Complex, he was already dead.

Sadjadah was an university student at the Faculty of Media at Al Quds University and one of the members of the Qalandia Media Center. He was about to graduate later on this year.

According to eyewitnesses, the massive riot seemed to have started after an Israeli military vehicle entered Qalandia Camp at ten o’clock on Monday evening by mistake. Palestinians from the Camp started throwing molotov cocktails at it, setting the vehicle on fire.

Tensions between the IOF and residents of Qalandia refugee camp have been heightened in recent months, with at least ten residents of the camp killed by the IOF since October.

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Two Israeli soldiers, belonging to the Oketz K-9 unit, were inside the jeep and managed to hide themselfes inside the Camp. Neither of them was harmed.

IOF Central Command dispatched large numbers of forces to Kalandiya to rescue the two soldiers. They stormed into Qalandia Camp with about 1,500 troops reinforced with dozens of military vehicles and personnel carriers and bulldozers, backed by helicopters.

One soldier maintained cell phone contact with the IOF throughout the incident, and was rescued within 30 minutes as he hid in a yard. The second soldier was rescued shortly before midnight.

“We don’t yet fully understand how it got there. The soldiers became surrounded in a very big riot, with many rocks thrown at their vehicle. They continued driving, and then Molotov cocktails were thrown at them, setting the vehicle on fire. There are a number of things we will have to check, including the circumstances of how the soldiers entered Kalandiya” an IOF source said.

According to the Jpost, “the navigation app Wave may have played a part in the overnight incident during which two IDF soldiers strayed into the Palestinian Kalandia neighborhood, according to initial findings of an IDF investigation of the occurrence. The two soldiers told investigators that they were misguided by Waze into the dangerous neighborhood.”

While inside the Camp, the IOF declared the Camp a closed military zone. According to locals, the clashes lasted until two and half this morning.