Skirmish at Qalandiya overnight


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion and shots fired near the Israeli separation wall at the Qalandiya refugee camp shortly after 1a.m. on Friday morning.

Israeli news site Ynet said shortly after 11p.m. that Palestinians placed a tire and gas container near the wall in approximately the same location, and said the explosion caused damage to the wall.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said Palestinian teens hurled rocks at the Qalandiya checkpoint at 12:37, and Israeli border police at the military area responded to the incident with riot dispersal mechanisms, which usually include the launch of tear-gas canisters, percussion grenades and rubber-coated bullets.

Hours after the reported explosion, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered at the checkpoint, the access terminal for Muslims in the northern West Bank for Jerusalem.

The spokeswoman said there were no extra security measures in place at the checkpoint, as Muslim worshipers wait to access Jerusalem on the second Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

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