Settlers clash with Palestinians near Ramallah

"Price Tag" graffiti scrawled in Palestinian village; US condemns terror attack, settler reprisals.

Tag Mehir graffiti 370 (photo credit: Iyad Hadad, B'tselem)
Tag Mehir graffiti 370
(photo credit: Iyad Hadad, B'tselem)
Settlers entered a Palestinian village near Ramallah overnight Tuesday spraying the words "Tag Mehir" (Price Tag) on a wall of a house in the village.
Clashes subsequently broke out between dozens of settlers and Palestinian residents of the village Baytillu, and five vehicles were damaged by rock throwing.
Authorities broke up the confrontation apprehending ten settlers for investigation. One settler was lightly injured.
The clash occurred following a terror attack earlier Tuesday at Tapuah Junction in the West Bank.
The United States on Tuesday condemned the attack in which 31-year-old Israeli Evyatar Borovsky was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist.
State Department Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell also condemned rioting and attacks by settlers which came in response to the terror attack.
Speaking at a State Department briefing, Ventrell stated, "The United States strongly condemns today’s terror attack against an Israeli citizen in the West Bank which resulted in the murder of that individual. We express our sincere condolences to his family. We also strongly condemn the reported acts of reprisal, including the attack at the Al-Rabat mosque in Urif village near Nablus, and we call upon all parties to take steps to restore calm and avoid the potential for further escalation."
Borovsky, a father of five from the settlement of Yitzhar was stabbed to death in a terror attack at the Tapuah Junction in Samaria on Tuesday morning, in the first lethal terror attack in the West Bank since 2011.
Following the murder, settlers rioted and attacked both Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
The Palestinian terrorist, Salam Azal, came up from behind the victim, Evyatar Borovsky, stabbed him in the chest and stomach, and stole his firearm. A Border Police officer who witnessed the attack opened fire on the terrorist and moderately wounded him. He was taken from the scene to Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva for treatment, while Borovsky was treated at the scene but died of his wounds.
Capt. Barak Raz of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that it had been more than a year since an Israeli was killed by terrorism in the West Bank, despite some violent incidents – including a rock-throwing attack on an Israeli vehicle that critically wounded three-year-old Adele Biton, who is still fighting for her life in a hospital.
“This reminds us that even in times of relative calm, the alertness and quick response by security forces is very necessary. We are working 24 hours a day to maintain this stability,” he added.
Terror victim Evyatar Borovsky
Shortly after the attack, violence broke out between settlers and Palestinians, and between settlers and soldiers in a number of spots near Yitzhar.
Outside the entrance to the settlement, settlers threw rocks at soldiers and burned tires, while near the Palestinian village of Urif, some 50 settlers clashed with 100 Palestinians in an incident that included rock-throwing by both sides.
Other clashes broke out between settlers and Palestinians near the village of Ein Abus.
By the Yitzhar Junction, near the village of Harawa, 40 settlers threw rocks at cars and at a bus carrying children, according to the IDF. The bus driver was lightly wounded, and two children suffered from shock, according to the IDF.
Settlers also lit a fire at the junction, which the IDF extinguished.
Idan Iluz, a spokesman for the Border Police, said that 10 settlers – both minors and adults – had been arrested during the rioting, with some accused of torching fields, blocking roads and throwing rocks, including at Israeli security forces.
He did not know how many Palestinians were hurt in the rioting, but reports in the media stated that a number were wounded by rock-throwers.
On Tuesday evening, settlers also held a small demonstration at the Tapuah Junction, where they called on the government and the IDF to take steps to prevent further attacks like the one that took Borovsky’s life.
In response to the murder, Benyamin said on behalf of the settlement that “the writing was on the wall, written in blood. This murder was a direct refusal of the government’s leniency toward rock-throwing terrorism and the continued increase in terror attacks against Jews across Judea and Samaria.”