A large army force, on Wednesday, stormed the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, besieged the home of a former Palestinian prisoner, and injured 19 citizens with live rounds, including 3 in serious condition.

Media sources said that undercover Israeli agents (Musta’ribeen), infiltrated the city, followed by a large number of occupation soldiers who stormed the Hindaza, Al-Saf Street, and the Halal Market areas, surrounded the home of former prisoner, Hamdi Imad Al-Kamel, and deployed sharpshooters on the rooftops of citizens’ homes.

Soldiers detained the young man’s family members, and demand that he surrender himself, while local youths protested the military incursion which lasted seven hours. Soldiers also abducted one young man, Muhammad Kamel, 25.

In response to protests, the army fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel rounds, concussion grenades, and tear gas canisters at citizens, shooting 19 with live rounds, 3 who sustained serious injuries, and 5 were injured with shrapnel (bullet fragments).

According to medical crews with the Bethlehem Red Crescent Society, 19 Palestinians were provided first aid for various live gunshot wounds including those to the legs, face, and shoulder, they were transported to hospital for further medical intervention.

It was added that in addition dozens of citizens sustaining inhalation injuries from tear gas, 2 young men sustained injuries from falls during confrontations.

It was also mentioned that the home of the former prisoner was ransacked, and damage was caused from heavy gunfire.

Bassam Jabr, the Director of Education in the Bethlehem Governorate, said that due to the heavy gunfire and snipers positioned on rooftops, 370 male and female students at a number of schools in the city were unable to leave their schools, until the forces withdrew.