Up to 200 Palestinians attacked the vineyards Saturday next to the Esh Kodesh outpost, located near the West Bank settlement of Shiloh. The Palestinians and the settlers threw stones at each other. The violence was broken up by IDF soldiers using tear gas and other crowd-control methods.
Twelve outpost residents were reportedly injured in the clashes, including one who required hospitalization.
The violence between the two groups began last week over the cultivation of a field claimed by both sides. Palestinian farmers began plowing the field last week, but were confronted by settlers.
Israel’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the Palestinians could plow the land. Outpost residents claim that they have cultivated the tract of land for 10 years.
On Thursday morning, the tires of four vehicles were found slashed, and graffiti — reading (in Hebrew) “mutual responsibility” and “holy fire” (Esh Kodesh) — was discovered spray-painted on a gas station wall in the area. A Star of David was found spray-painted on another wall nearby.
The number of violent incidents between Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the West Bank has risen sharply over the past weeks.
Also on Sunday, three Palestinians with knives were arrested at the Etzion junction in the settlement bloc south of Jerusalem. The three said they planned to carry out an attack, according to initial reports.
No charges in Molotov case
Elesewhere Sunday, the State Attorney’s Office in Jerusalem dropped charges against a 13-year-old Israeli accused of hurling Molotov cocktails at a Palestinian cab near the Gush Etzion settlement of Bat Ayin last August.
The Justice Ministry explained that “after thoroughly investigating the evidence, no proof was found sufficient enough at the level required by criminal law in order to prove the criminal’s identity and therefore no indictment will be submitted for now. Investigation of the matter will continue.”
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