Jewish settlers, Palestinians clash in West Bank
JERUSALEM (AP [and basically repeated in Haaretz]) — Clashes erupted Saturday in the West Bank where Jewish settlers shot two Palestinian demonstrators in the northern village of Kusra, an Israeli military official and Palestinian residents said...
Helmi Abdul-Aziz, 24, was shot in the stomach in the skirmish with Jewish settlers, Palestinian demonstrators said. They said Jewish settlers also shot 14-year-old Mustafa Hilal in the foot.
An Israeli military official confirmed that two Palestinians were shot, but said the bullets appeared to have been fired by Jewish settlers because the Israeli forces were not using live ammunition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with military policy.
A Palestinian hospital official said Abdul-Aziz was in serious condition. The medic requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Villagers said the clashes began when a group of Jewish settlers encroached on their village lands and fired guns. They said Jewish settlers chased a Palestinian farmer and his family off land, prompting the farmer to call on residents to confront the settlers, and men on both sides hurled rocks at each other.
The Israeli military official said about 200 Palestinians and 25 Jewish settlers took part in the clashes, and Israeli forces dispersed Palestinian protestors using "riot dispersal means."
Two Palestinian residents watching the clashes, Basem Nazal and Abdul-Azim Wadi, said Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets on demonstrators, and that a rubber bullet hit a 15-year-old Palestinian demonstrator in the eye. They also said the Israeli forces did not use live fire.
Nazal, a resident of Kusra, said groups of settlers were also uprooting their olive trees and vandalizing Palestinian homes close the wildcat Jewish outpost of Eish Kodesh.
Settler leaders were not immediately available for comment on the Jewish Sabbath.
First of all, how did it "start" if, as I suspect, the Arab was the one encroaching?
There are contradictory reports of the chain of events. The Palestinians are claiming that settlers from the Shilo and Esh Kodesh outposts attacked Kusra residents and caused damage. They responded by hurling stones.
Conversely, the Tazpit news agency reported that the clashes began inside Esh Kodesh when Palestinians arrived at vineyards in the outpost and destroyed fences around them. According to Tazpit, the settlers came to defend the land and the sides soon began to hurl stones at each other. Some 10 settlers were hit by stones and treated at the scene, Tazpit said.
Second, on Thursday night there were stones thrown nearby on Jewish cars traveling on Highway 60. And a claim of Jews entering Qusra.
Third, an Arab woman was stabbed to death in Hebron, seemingly by another Arab.
Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Strook said Saturday evening that the IDF failed to protect Jewish residents and their agricultural plots in Esh Kodesh, earlier in the day.
"Security forces had advance knowledge of the attack by hundreds of Palestinian marauders upon the vineyards of the community of Esh Kodesh," Strook charged.
"It is an extremely grave matter, that the soldiers ran away and abandoned the agricultural plots and the residents who came to protect their property, to the mercy of the attackers. I call on the Minister of Defense to arrest and immediately put the marauders – who were filmed and whose identity is known -- on trial, and defend the settlers and their property."
UPDATE from Qusra
Updated 2:25: settlers vandalized olive trees and broken in the entire sector.
Updated 2:30: confrontations flare up in the area of the entire sector on the road with Jalud, and dozens of cases of suffocation gas.
Updated 2:35: confrontations are still burning in the entire sector on the road Qasra - Jalud .. Settlers and Israeli soldiers standing up in the hill opposite the village and people in the Sahel region and the street.
Updated 2:50: settlers retreating behind and withdraw troops now and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas very heavily until the moment ..
Updated 3:00: settlers withdraw from the region and confrontations on Jalud Street - Qasra now.
Updated 3:20: tear gas, rubber bullets and live did not stop for more than 3 hours until the moment, the ongoing confrontations.
Updated 3:30: rubber bullet wounds shortly before (Mohammed Fayez Fathi Darwish, Ahmed Ali Zainuddin, Muhammad Khalid return, Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah)
Updated 3:35: Go redirects to the proximity of the reservoir area in Aloar close of the neighborhood.
3:55: injured by a rubber bullet in the eye of the child Asami Rami Youssef.
5:15: case of young Hilmi Abdul Aziz dangerous, bullets injured when an explosive (Crump) and is now in surgery two hours ago.
5:20: new rubber bullets injuries (Sa'ed Mohammed Wadi, Hassan cushions, Mohammed Jaber Khryosh, Raafat Ghanem)
I really don't think any observant Jew was "vandalizing" anything on the Shabbat.