Soldiers and emergency worker gather following clashes between an IDF soldier and a Palestinian who threw a rock at his head .
(photo credit: TPS)
A Palestinian stabbed a soldier and hit him in the head with a stone, seriously injuring him, as he stood by an army post on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement on Friday morning.
The army post is located just outside of the back entrance to Ramallah where the IDF has been operating this week in search of terrorists, with links to Hamas, who have been behind two of the main attacks in the West Bank this week.
The army said that the soldier and the Palestinian assailant struggled. In the course of that struggle the Palestinian stabbed the soldier and hit him with a stone before fleeing the scene.
The soldier was transferred to a Jerusalem hospital and is in serous condition.
“We are in a tense period,” Judea and Samaria Division Brigadier General Eran Niv said on Friday after the attack.
West Bank unrest continued Friday in the aftermath of the Thursday morning attack in which two soldiers were killed and another solider and a civilian were injured.
During that Thursday attack a Palestinian shot at the four Israelis while they stood at a bus stop outside the Givat Asaf outpost, a short distance away from Beit El.
“The IDF, the Shin Bet security service and the police are operating by covert and overt means in the Judea and Samaria to arrest those responsible for the attack last night at the Asaf junction,” Niv said on Friday.
“At the same time, we are working to prevent and thwart the next attack, while reinforcing the defense efforts in the roads and in the settlements,” Niv said.
“We will continue to make every effort to protect the citizens of Israel,” he added.
Niv explained that security forces were taking extra measures to protect the roads and had reinforced 20 roadside areas with concrete barriers to protect civilians from attacks.
Settlers on Friday, held multiple protests across the West Bank to demand increased security, in some cases they attempted to shut down the road to Palestinian traffic.
There were reports of demonstrations near Shiloh along Route 60, near Mehola in the Jordan Valley and next to Negahot in the South Hebron Hills. There was also one in the Halamish settlement next to the Palestinian village of Nabi Salleh, which is often the site of heavy clashes between Palestinians and the IDF.
Palestinian News Agency Wafa reported that clashes broke out in the Ramallah area with two Palestinians injured by rubber bullets. Three Palestinians were injured in Hebron, including a journalist who was shot in the hand. Another three Palestinians were injured near the Huwwara checkpoint and one injured by rubber bullets in the village of Lubban Esharqia, south of Nablus.
On Friday evening the Palestinian Health Ministry reported the death of one protesters who had been shot by IDF forces north of Ramallah.
The Kedumim council called on its residents to join it at 4:20 for a communal Friday evening Sabbath prayer at the entrance to the community.
Settlers have demanded among other things, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to separate Palestinian and Israeli traffic along roads in Area C, such that vehicles with Palestinian license plates would be barred from traveling on the same roads as Israelis.
Netanyahu has come under particular fire from settlers because he now holds the post of Defense Minister and is, therefore, directly responsible for their security.
They have also called on him to approve new settlements in Judea and Samaria.
Binyamin Regional Council announced that settlers had purchased 40 dunams of private Palestinian property on the site of the former Amona outpost on the edge of the Ofra settlement. Two modular structures were placed there Friday it said as it called on Netanyahu to authorize a new settlement on that hilltop.
“I call upon the prime minister and the ministers to act to restore security, revere the policy of targeted killings, returned roadblocks and prevented Palestinian vehicles from traveling freely on the main roads [in Area C],” Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said.
Council heads in Judea and Samaria held a protest rally in front of Netanyahu’s home on Thursday to protest the lack of security and to demand and approve new settlement construction.
The YESHA council plans to hold a rally a 9 a.m. Sunday in the Rose garden next to Netanyahu’s office prior to the start of the weekly government meeting.
The municipalities, regional councils and local councils plan to go on strike on Sunday to protest what they fear is a new wave of West Bank violence.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan called on all those angered by the spilling of Jewish blood to want to prevent the next attack to come join them.
On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorists linked to Hamas, shot and injured seven Israeli civilians at a bus stop outside of the Ofra settlement
, a short distance down Route 60 from Givat Asaf. Among the injured was a pregnant woman who was forced to give birth prematurely. The baby boy died after three days.