Three Palestinians Killed by Israeli Forces in Qalandia RC

On early Monday morning, August 26th, a large contingent of Israeli Border Police and IDF soldiers entered the Qalandia refugee camp. According to Israeli spokespersons, their purpose was to arrest a “terror suspect” living inside the camp.  Once inside the camp, these forces faced resistance from camp residents, who threw stones and other objects (video here). According to Israeli spokespersons, the forces feared for their lives and responded using lethal force. Three young Palestinian men were killed by live fire, including a 34-year-old father of four who, according to an UNRWA press release, was an UNRWA employee on his way to work. A number of other Palestinians were injured.

Experience ahs demonstrated that Israeli operations inside Palestinian refugee camps are virtually guaranteed to provoke resistance from camp residents. The most recent example of this phenomenon took place just last week, when an IDF operation inside the Jenin Refugee Camp sparked clashes that ended with the IDF shooting and killing one Palestinian young man and wounding two others. Indeed, given the structure of the camps (narrow streets, open rooftops, crowded houses), they are possibly the most difficult place for Israeli security forces to operate, and the odds of an operation being carried out without clashes and causalities is low.   It is for this and related reasons that some, including Btselem, are asking serious questions about the decision-making that led to this operation, including why Israeli security forces were so unprepared that they felt it necessary to resort to lethal force.

As of this writing, some news outlets are reporting that Palestinian negotiators have suspended Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after Israelis security forces killed three Palestinians inside the Jerusalem-area refugee camp of Qalandia (and reportedly wounding more than a dozen more people). The State Department has reportedly denied that this is the case.