7 Palestinians wounded by gunfire after West Bank clash

Security forces use live fire to disperse ongoing clashes that broke out after settlers reportedly uprooted trees in Kusra, south of Nablus.

Clashes settlers Palestinians IDF soldiers 311 R (photo credit: Reuters/Nayef Hashlamoun)
Clashes settlers Palestinians IDF soldiers 311 R
(photo credit: Reuters/Nayef Hashlamoun)
Seven Palestinians were lightly wounded by live ammunition and rubber bullets on Monday when IDF troops dispersed violent clashes that broke out after settlers reportedly uprooted trees near Kusra, south of Nablus.
This was the latest in a series of violent incidents that have occurred in that area since security forces demolished the fledgling outpost of Alei-Ayin in January, located near Shiloh.
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The outpost has since been rebuilt and is home to one family and a number of young adults.
The IDF spokesman said that troops responded to a “larger than usual” clash between settlers and Palestinians when they were targeted by rockthrowing Palestinians.
The soldiers then responded with precision, shooting at the rock-throwers and at Palestinians who were threatening settlers, according to the spokesman’s office.
All the Palestinians were lightly wounded in the lower part of the body, according to the IDF. Two were shot with live ammunition and two with rubber bullets. Settlers wounded another three Palestinians with gunfire.
The IDF was examining the possibility that the incident began after settlers cut down Palestinian trees.
When asked if the soldiers first tried to fire in the air to disperse the rock-throwers, the spokesman’s office said the incident is still under investigation.
No soldiers were injured in the incident and a number of settlers were lightly hurt by thrown rocks and another two Palestinians suffered light injuries from the violence.
According to Roi Reder, a spokesman for the Binyamin Citizens’ Committee, a group of 100 Palestinians went up in the direction of Alei-Alyin with sticks and other light weapons, and they wanted to regain the hilltop and to kill people – but thankfully, no one was hurt.
He refuted any claims that settlers had shot at Palestinians or that any settlers had cut down Palestinian trees.
Eqab Hassan, a resident of the Palestinian village of Kusra, south of Nablus, said about 20 settlers cut down olive trees belonging to the village.
Kusra residents began throwing stones at the settlers, who then opened fire, he said.
Hassan added that Israeli soldiers intervened in the clashes and shot tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Palestinian medics said five people with light and moderate gun shot wounds were taken to a local hospital.
Reuters contributed to this report