One Palestinian killed as Israeli settlers set fire to cars, homes in West Bank

One Palestinian killed as hilltop youth set fire to cars, homes in Turmus Aiya • Six settlers injured by rocks thrown after entering West Bank village

 A Palestinian man runs near a burning object, after an attack by Israeli settlers, near Ramallah, in the West Bank, June 21, 2023 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
A Palestinian man runs near a burning object, after an attack by Israeli settlers, near Ramallah, in the West Bank, June 21, 2023

Israeli settlers and hilltop youth set fire to cars, wheat fields and homes belonging to Palestinians in the West Bank town of Turmus Aiya on Wednesday, the IDF confirmed, in what is suspected to be an organized 'price tag' attack following the funeral of Nahman Shmuel, murdered in the Eli terrorist attack on Monday.

Some 30 homes and over 60 vehicles have been destroyed as part of the attack, Palestinian and Israeli media reported. According to a report by Army Radio citing defense officials, some 200 Israelis entered the West Bank town in an organized attempt to torch it in response to the deadly Eli attack.

Twelve Palestinians were injured with gun wounds, the local mayor was cited by foreign media as saying. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that three suffering from gun wounds independently arrived at a Ramallah medical center for treatment, with one killed by his wounds.

At least two of the injured Palestinians were confirmed by United Haztalah to be injured by police fire. They were given treatment by Red Crescent paramedics. One of the Palestinians was shot after attacking officers and firefighters who were at the scene responding to a fire that broke out near the town, police said.

Violent altercations erupted between Palestinians and the masked Israelis in the town, near Ramallah, as rocks were thrown at Israeli forces. The IDF later said that the settlers had left the town and police opened an investigation into the incident.

The IDF stressed that it condemns any attack on civilians' property, adding that these incidents impact the military's ability to focus on its "true objective - preventing terrorism and protecting the citizens of the State of Israel."

Another convoy of settlers was seen preparing to enter the Palestinian town of Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah, in footage captured and shared on social media Wednesday.

Later on Wednesday evening, dozens of settlers were seen entering the Palestinian village of Urif, the home of the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the attack in Eli, United Hatzalah said, adding that an unspecified number of Israelis were injured by rocks thrown by the Palestinians.

Eight settlers were lightly injured as part of the incident, United Hatzalah added. They were seen exiting the village later on Wednesday en route to Yitzhar.

Egypt on Wednesday released a statement calling for the immediate halt of settler attacks against Palestinian towns in the West Bank, stressing that it stands in condemnation of any collective punishment inflicted upon Palestinian civilians. 

Palestinian terror organization Hamas warned on Wednesday that the 'price tag' attacks on Turmus Aiya "will not intimidate our heroic Palestinian people and will be met with more steadfastness and resistance."

The European Union, through its delegation in Palestine, condemned the settler attack on Turmus Aiya, writing on Twitter that "we condemn the current outbreak of settler violence across the West Bank, resulting in unacceptable indiscriminate violence against Palestinian civilians and the destruction of Palestinian property.

"We recall that Israel has the obligation to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory," it further wrote.

Labor MK Gilad Kariv also noted that the settler violence is a "direct result of Israeli governments turning a blind eye when it comes to violence by hilltop youth. If this 'revenge' phenomenon is not suppressed by law and security enforcement, we will see more and more blood spilled," the MK wrote.

Price tag attacks on the rise following terror in Eli

On Tuesday night, dozens of Israelis gathered at the entrance to Bet Purik in an attempt to enter the village. IDF troops arrived on the scene to disperse the crowd and used protest dispersal methods like shooting in the air, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said. 

Photos from Bet Purik cars completely destroyed as well as at least one shop in which the glass front was smashed. Three people were reportedly arrested in relation to the attack on Bet Purik.

The vandalism was carried out as revenge for a terror attack in Eli on Tuesday in which two terrorists murdered four Israelis in two different locations.

Similar revenge acts were carried out in February after a terror attack in Huwara. On this occasion, over 30 homes and dozens of cars were burned in riots in the town with one Palestinian man being killed.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.