Israeli troops fired live ammunition at Palestinian protesters today during a bungled operation to arrest suspected militants in the West Bank that left eight injured.
The violence came a day after Israel eased its blockade of the Gaza Strip, allowing building materials to enter the territory for the first time in five years.
The clashes erupted after Israeli soldiers disguised as fruit-and-veg sellers arrested a suspected member of Islamic Jihad in Tamoun. Regular forces then entered the town where youths threw rocks to prevent further arrests.
The troops responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as dozens of masked Palestinians set up roadblocks with burning tyres and bins.
They also fired live ammunition, which the Israeli military insists is only used in extremely dangerous situations.
Army raids on suspected militants are fairly common but are usually co-ordinated with Palestinian security forces.
Israel scrapped that co-operation in response to the UN's recognition of Palestinian statehood in November.
It was not clear how seriously injured the eight protesters were.
The day before, Israel handed a concession to Gazans, dropping its embargo on cement, gravel, metal rods and other construction materials entering the Hamas-ruled strip.
The concession has grown out of the ceasefire agreement following Israel's eight-day assault on Gaza in November in which 169 Palestinians and six Israelis died.
Israel has promised to continue easing its blockade - launched in 2007 after Hamas took control of Gaza and considered illegal by most experts in international law - as long as there are no rocket attacks from the strip.
Israel army spokesman Guy Inbar said that 20 lorries a day, five days a week, would now be permitted to enter Gaza and other concessions may follow "depending on the continuation of the calm."
Gaza's economy has been wrecked by the blockade and a near-total export ban, which Hamas is demanding Israel lift.
Around a third of Gazans are unemployed and 80 per cent rely on UN support.
Fatah's West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday he would resume direct talks with Israel under the auspices of an international peace conference.
He has previously said he would only join talks if Israel halts its illegal settlement construction programme.
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