A Palestinian Authority official has called on Palestinian civilians to be cautious while driving by Israeli settlements, after a number of Palestinian vehicles were pelted with stones immediately following the fatal stabbing of an Israeli citizen at the Tapuah junction Tuesday morning.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Jewish settlement-building in the northern West Bank, told the Ma’an news agency that he expected more attacks by settlers on Palestinian cars, after the windshield of a bus carrying schoolgirls from Ramallah was shattered by stones hurled at it near the settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus.
Yitzhar was home to Evyatar Borowsky, a 32-year-old father of five, who was stabbed to death earlier on Tuesday by Salam As’ad Zaghal, a Palestinian from Tulkarem, at the Tapuah junction.
Retaliatory acts by settlers from Yitzhar and Tapuah followed the lethal stabbing, local media and human rights groups reported. Rabbis for Human Rights, an Israeli watchdog, reported that settlers attacked and moderately injured a Palestinian farmer near the village of Furiq and uprooted some 100 olive trees near the village of Qaryut.
Khalil Assaf, a Nablus resident who heads the Consortium of Independent Palestinians in the West Bank, a grassroots organization of businessmen and academics, warned that violence in the northern West Bank could quickly spin out of control.
“The situation is very bad, it has reached the level of craziness,” Assaf told The Times of Israel, reporting that Palestinians in the area were avoiding leaving their homes for fear of settler attacks on the roads.
“If the IDF does not control the situation, many more innocent people will be injured,” Assaf added, referring to the attack on the Palestinian school bus near Nablus.
A spokesman for the IDF confirmed that “a violent and illegal demonstration” took place at the Yitzhar junction on Tuesday, with two Israeli civilians detained by the army.
The spokesman added that three Palestinians were “very lightly injured” in the area but did not require medical evacuation, while two Palestinian buses were damaged by Israeli stone-throwers.
Six settlers were arrested in connection with the violence.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Mujahideen movement, an Islamist offshoot of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, congratulated the perpetrator of Tuesday’s fatal stabbing attack.
“We welcome any act of resistance against this corrupt enemy,” said the movement’s spokesman, Abu-Omar, in a statement published on the movement’s website (Arabic).
The stabbing, the statement continued, is a “natural response to the occupation’s aggression and its continuous attacks on all things Palestinian in the West Bank.”