Palestinian children, soldiers attacked

Settlers reportedly throw sticks, stones, and even sent a dog at them.

masked settler in hebron (photo credit: AP [file])
masked settler in hebron
(photo credit: AP [file])
Settlers from the settlement of Maon clashed with IDF troops on Saturday who were accompanying a group of Palestinian children from school back to their nearby village. According to the army, the settlers laid an ambush for the army force and attacked the soldiers as they passed the settlement, located in the southern Hebron Hills. Four soldiers and two Palestinians were injured in the clashes. The IDF subsequently declared the area a closed military zone to prevent additional right-wingers from reaching the scene of the scuffle. The settlers, the army said, threw rocks and cement blocks at the students, mostly young children between ages 6 and 11. One of the settlers, the army said, even commanded his dog to attack the soldiers and the schoolchildren. Soldiers fired their weapons in the air to disperse the settlers, the army said. The settlers fled after the soldiers shot in the air. The IDF launched a search after the attackers. On Friday, dozens of settlers gathered around a house in downtown Hebron to protest the eviction of three families which was scheduled for Sunday night. Several adults and youths mounted the roof of the house slated for eviction and scuffles broke out between the settlers and police, who were pelted with eggs, rocks, and paint. Two of the settlers were arrested, one of them a minor. Two policemen were also lightly wounded after one was hit on the head with a glass bottle and the other was hit on the head with an egg, Israel Radio reported. They were treated on site. Damage was reported to police and army property as a result of the paint. "Security forces are planning to respond with determination in their efforts to prevent massive public disturbances, injury to security forces, and property damage," said a senior officer in the Judea-Samaria police district. Roadblocks were set up to prevent more settler activists from arriving at the scene. Police had previously declared the area a closed military zone.