Fire Erupts in Ramallah During Israeli Army Raid on Palestinian Business

Witnesses report local currency exchange catching fire as a result of crowd control measures carried out by Israeli troops.

Palestinian policemen stand guard in front of a building housing Palestinian shops after a fire which was sparked by Israeli troops, in the West Bank town of El Bireh April 14, 2016.
Mohamad Torokman, Reurers

Palestinians in Ramallah reported Thursday morning that a currency-exchange complex in a building on Al-Quds Street caught fire in the midst of a raid conducted by Israeli soldiers. 

According to witnesses, a force of IDF soldiers raided the exchange company where clashes broke out between troops and dozens of young Palestinians.

A Palestinian policeman stands guard in front of a building housing Palestinian shops after a fire which was sparked by Israeli troops, in the West Bank town of El Bireh April 14, 2016.
/Mohamad Torokman, Reuters
Palestinian firefighters extinguish fire at a money changer in the Palestinian political capital Ramallah after it was raided by Israeli forces early on April 14, 2016.
ABBAS MOMANI, AFP

They said that the military force used tear gas and crowd dispersal measures, which caused the fire. The flame reportedly spread to some 10 shops in the complex after the troops tried to blow open safes during the raid.

The fire brigade in El Bireh, in the West Bank, said no one was hurt in the blaze that spread through a three-storey commercial building in the town before opening hours.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers out to confiscate documents from "a money-changer who deals with terror funds" attempted to open safes using a controlled explosion and a fire erupted. She said the military had begun an investigation of the incident.

Palestinian police officers secure the parameter of torched shops in a commercial building at the main market of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Nasser Nasser, AP
Palestinians inspect a building housing Palestinian shops after a fire which was sparked by Israeli troops, in the West Bank town of El Bireh April 14, 2016.
Mohamad Torokman, Reuters