Police detain Arabs, Jews in clashes between Palestinians and settlers that leave five injured

Settler version of events is diametrically opposed to NGO version that said the Palestinians were attacked.

Settlers breaking olive tree branches R 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Settlers breaking olive tree branches R 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Clashes between Palestinians and settlers in the Mitzpe Yair area, in the South Mount Hebron region of the West Bank, resulted in injuries and several people being detained by police on Monday.
Security forces intervened, and Judea and Samaria District police brought six Israelis and three Palestinians in for questioning following the fight.
Five people – four Israelis and a Palestinian – required medical assistance after sustaining light injuries.
Settlers said a group of around ten Palestinians assaulted four Israelis who were hiking around Mitzpe Yair.
According to the report, the attackers were armed with metal poles, and struck without any provocation or cause.
Offering a diametrically opposed account, Rabbis for Human Rights said a group of Israeli civilians attacked Palestinians from Bir al-Id as they worked their land.
The group said it was contacted by a Palestinian landowner who noticed a settler watching him. The man then reported seeing the settler, joined by a group, approaching him. “At this stage, we called the police,” Rabbis for Human Rights said.
Police arrived after the man and his son were assaulted, and his son was rushed to the hospital, the organization added.
Meanwhile, during an operation by the “anti-nationalist crimes” unit of the Judea and Samaria police, officers arrested five people they said they suspect of conspiracy and possessing weapons.
The suspects, three male teenagers, aged 16, and two men aged 24, are residents of Jerusalem, Betar Illit, Kiryat Arab and Samaria, police said.
They were stopped on the tunnel highway and, during a search of their car, police said they found spray paint, pepper spray, gloves, knifes, sticks, steel pipes, an axe, a slingshot, screwdrivers and pliers.
They also found in the car a banner with a picture of Yasser Arafat, former Palestinian Liberation Organization head.
It is unclear if the tools were to be used in an attack on Palestinians, their property and crops or both.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.