2 settlers wounded, one seriously, in West Bank clash; at least 3 Palestinians hurt

Israelis hurt by rocks thrown at them, medics say; Palestinian media says villagers attacked by settlers while harvesting olives

A photo of a man being treated after he was wounded during a clash with Palestinians close to Rimonin, October 26, 2023 (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A photo of a man being treated after he was wounded during a clash with Palestinians close to Rimonin, October 26, 2023 (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Two settlers were injured, one seriously, during a clash with Palestinians close to the West Bank settlement of Rimonim in which a number of Palestinians were also reportedly wounded.

According to the Magen David Adom rescue service, the two Israelis were injured by rocks thrown at them close to Rimonim Junction east of Ramallah.

One man, 25, suffered a head wound and was hospitalized in serious condition, MDA said. The other man had light injuries.

Both were in stable condition, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the Israelis were shepherds.

The Ynet news site said the Palestinian suspects fled to a nearby village and no arrests had been made.

The Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news site said five Palestinians were injured when they were attacked by settlers while harvesting olives close to the village of Deir Jarir, in what appeared to be the same incident.

Other Palestinian reports said that three Palestinians were wounded. The extent of their injuries was unclear.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces and it was unclear how the clash began.

Recent days have seen a wave of settler attacks on Palestinians.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday made a point of criticizing Israel for not clamping down on settler violence, while continuing to back Jerusalem’s military operations in Gaza against Hamas, which staged a bloody incursion into Israel on October 7, slaughtering some 1,400 people — mainly civilians — and taking some 220 hostages into the Strip.

“I continue to be alarmed by extremist settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank,” Biden said, adding that the violence is “adding fuel to the fire.”

“They’re attacking Palestinians in places they’re entitled to be … it has to stop now,” he said.

Biden has urged Netanyahu during phone calls in recent days to ensure that Israeli authorities are preventing growing incidents of settler violence, fearing that spiraling tensions in the West Bank could significantly exacerbate the current Gaza war, the Axios news site reported Wednesday.

Roughly 100 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the Hamas onslaught, according to the Palestinian Authority, most of them in clashes with soldiers but also with Israeli civilians, including five shot dead by settlers in cases in which no charges have yet been filed.

A rights group said Tuesday there have been over 100 incidents of settler violence since the war broke out, with no arrests announced by police in any of the cases.

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