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Israeli Soldiers Open Fire on Demonstrators After IDF Botched Raid in West Bank Sparks Protests

Tensions on the rise in Occupied Territories

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Reports are now surfacing that Israeli forces have used live fire on Palestinian residents in the northern West Bank following a botched undercover raid and subsequent clashes between the IDF and Palestinian youth, Associated Press is reporting.

Israeli soldiers during protests in the West Bank city of Hebron December 13, 2012 (Reuters/Ammar Awad) Early Tuesday morning Israeli soldiers disguised themselves as vegetable vendors in an attempt to seize members of what the IDF claims to be a militant group in the town of Tamoun. The incognito soldiers arrested one man, but local residents quickly protested the extrajudicial raid—tossing stones and bottles.

The Israeli troops responded with live fire, according to local reports, with eight men now reportedly shot. No deaths are reported yet.

Tensions have remained heightened in the West Bank following mass protests in December over the killing of a young unarmed Palestinian boy by Israeli border police.

Israeli forces have cracked down across the West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem—where in the village of Issawiya up to 50 Palestinian villagers have been arrested in the month of December alone.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently approved thousands of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem and the E1 corridor, despite widespread international rebuke.

In December, Netanyahu’s government pushed forward plans for 11,000 homes beyond the Green Line that marked Israel’s 1967 border — "nearly as many settler homes as were approved in the previous 10 years combined," Time reports.