A narrow alleyway inside Shuafat Refugee Camp.
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)
A bomb exploded in the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem late Wednesday while the explosive device was being assembled, Israel Police said after a preliminary investigation.
One person was critically injured in the explosion and was taken to hospital.
Police said they found further explosive material in the apartment where the explosion took place and arrested eight suspects who were taken in for questioning.
“The Israel Police will continue to investigate and act openly and covertly against all those involved and possessing explosive material intended for the preparation of explosive devices,” the police said in a statement.
While leaving at the refugee camp, police clashed with local residents. A police spokesman said no injuries were reported in the clashes.Shuafat refugee camp
is located behind the West Bank security barrier and Palestinians have free access into and out of the area.
A spike in terrorist activity has been reported in the neighborhood since the erection of the barrier, including during the “knife intifada” in 2015.
As a result, services provided by the Jerusalem Municipality to the neighborhood have dropped almost entirely. The municipality and Mayor Nir Barkat claim that sending workers into the area is too dangerous. Infrastructure in the neighborhood is already poor and police rarely cross the checkpoint and go inside the camp.
Residents often complain that the lack of police presence harms them, allowing violence and terrorism to rule the streets.
In March 2017, the police opened a station at the Shuafat checkpoint – which separates the neighborhood from the rest of city – in order to improve the residents’ quality of life.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post
in December that the opening of the station was intended to serve the residents, and that police were regularly operating in the area.
“We are operating at all levels, including the criminal level. We are seizing drugs, recovering stolen possessions and confiscating weapons.”