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Israeli military shoots Palestinians in West Bank camp

More than 25 Palestinians have been wounded during Israeli searches in a refugee camp in the southern West Bank, Red Crescent medics say. Some of the wounded were hit by live ammunition and others by rubber bullets.

Palestinian medical officials say Israeli military fire wounded more than 25 people near the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday. The Red Crescent reports that potentially deadly fire had struck at least 10 of the people and the rest were shot with nominally nonlethal rubber bullets.

A large convoy of Israeli military vehicles had entered al-Fawwar camp (pictured), near the flashpoint city of Hebron, witnesses said. A spokeswoman said

the military

fired to prevent a riot from escalating.

The spokeswoman said the troops had conducted "activity to uncover weaponry" in the camp when "dozens of Palestinians hurled IEDs (improvised explosive devices), blocks and rocks" at them. The troops "responded with riot dispersal means and fired 0.22-caliber bullets toward main instigators," the spokeswoman said, adding that the troops had found "two improvised handguns, other weapons and ammunition."

History of conflict

The clashes continued until about noon local time (0900 UTC), the AFP news agency reported. After the shooting, troops conducted searches and destroyed the wall of a house in the camp, where about 10,000 displaced people live.

The Hebron area

has become a focal point of

a wave of unrest

in Israel and

the occupied West Bank

since last October. The conflict has left more than 200 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans and

two men from Africa

dead in the past 10 months, according to an AFP tally.

The Israeli army has clamped down on workshops that manufacture arms in the West Bank. The army also closed off the Fawwar camp for 26 days last month after a gunman fired on a car driven by an Israeli on a nearby road, causing a crash that killed the driver.

mkg/rc (AFP, AP)

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