Palestinian wounded in clashes with IDF, Israelis near Kusra

Video footage from the scene near Kusra, in the area of Nablus, showed Palestinians rolling boulders at the group.

December 5, 2017 01:29
2 minute read.
Palestinians clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Kusra

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Kusra. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

A Palestinian man was moderately wounded during clashes that broke out in the West Bank between Palestinians from the village of Kusra, and the IDF and a group of right-wing extremists called Jewish Power.

Video footage from the scene near Kusra, in the area of Nablus, showed Palestinians rolling boulders at the group.

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The Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) group which included well-known Jewish activist from Hebron Baruch Marzel, marched in the area of Kusra to protest a violent incident that occurred there between Palestinians and settlers on Thursday. During that incident a Palestinian farmer, Mahmoud Odeh, 46, was killed.

The IDF said that a “violent riot” broke involving 50 Palestinians in the area of Kusra on Monday. “Palestinians threw stones and rolled burning tires at the security forces.”

Soldiers, Border Police and the Israeli Police worked to disperse the Palestinians and distance Israelis from the area, the IDF said.

The IDF then declared the area a closed military zone and said any activity there needs IDF approval.

A spokeswoman said it was still not clear how the Palestinian man was killed.

Palestinian activist Ibrahim Wadi told the Palestinian news agency, WAFA, that the IDF had fired “live ammunition and tear gas canisters.”

According to WAFA, “The Ministry of Health said the injured Palestinian, who was not identified, was brought to Rafidya hospital in Nablus in serious but stable condition and was admitted to the operating room. It said he was shot in the chest.”

The Jewish Power group said that the security forces should not have cleared their members out of the area and instead should have acted more forcibly against the Palestinians.

When Jewish forces arrived at the site, dozens of Arabs from the village of Kusra began rioting, throwing stones and rocks at the activists and setting tires on fire.

Jewish Power chairman and former MK Michael Ben-Ari charged that security forces had caved in to the Kusra rioters. “The message we received today is that Israel needs Jewish power.”

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir stated: “If it were right-wing activists who had rolled boulders at a group of Arabs, the police would have carried out many arrests, but when it comes to Jewish life, the police show incredible incompetence.”

Police are investigating Thursday’s incident and the shooting death of Odeh, who was buried on Saturday.

Palestinians in Kusra have alleged that he was shot by settlers while working in his field on Thursday.

Settlers have insisted that he was killed in an act of self-defense, by one of two fathers acting as armed escorts defending a group of 20 school boys on a bar mitzva hike from being lynched by a large group of Palestinians.

The group said it had come under attack by Palestinians from Kusra during a hike and that the children had sought refuge in a cave. They said the Palestinian attackers stole their cell phones and threatened to kill them.

Both of the fathers were lightly injured in the attack. They have both been questioned by police; neither has been held or charged.

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