An explosion in Shuafat Refugee Camp in east Jerusalem late Wednesday night occurred during an attempt to build an explosive device, Israel Police said after a preliminary investigation.
One person was critically injured in the explosion and was taken to hospital.
Police said it found further explosive material in the apartment in which the explosion took place. Police arrested eight suspects after the explosion, and they were taken 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,” police said in a statement following the incident:.
While leaving at the refugee camp, police clashed with local residents. A Jerusalem Police spokesman said that no injuries were reported in the clashes.
Shuafat Refugee Camp, a neighborhood inside Jerusalem, is located behind the West Bank security barrier and Palestinians have free access into it.
A spike of terrorist activity was reported in the neighborhood since the erection of the barrier, including during the “knife intifada” in 2015.
Meanwhile, the services that the Jerusalem Municipality provide to the neighborhood dropped almost entirely during that period. The municipality – including Mayor Nir Barkat – claims that sending workers inside is too dangerous. This has resulted in poor infrastructure in the neighborhood. 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 police inaugurated a station at the Shuafat checkpoint – separating the neighborhood from the rest of city – which was meant to improve the residents’ quality of life.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post in December that the opening of this station is intended to serve the residents, and that this move comes while police are 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.”
As reported by The Jerusalem Post.