Three Palestinians were reportedly injured Saturday during clashes with Israeli settlers and IDF troops near the West Bank town of Nablus. Palestinian media reported that they were shot with live ammunition, which could not be independently confirmed.
The incident began when a group of settlers were said to have attacked a number of Palestinian shepherds and farmers outside the village of Aqraba, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
IDF troops arrived at the scene and broke up the confrontation using riot dispersal means, according to the report.
Settlers have often been accused of vandalism against Palestinian farmers in the West Bank — particularly of slow-growing olive trees. Palestinians say some settler groups use violence and intimidation to discourage them from working their lands.
On Friday, Israeli police said settlers attacked American consular officials during a visit the officials made to the West Bank to investigate claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property.
Several settlers hurled rocks at personnel from Jerusalem’s US Consulate near an illegal West Bank outpost.
Consulate staff were touring near the Adei Ad outpost, northeast of Ramallah, along with a number of Palestinians from the nearby village of Turmus Ayya. According to Ynet News, villagers said thousands of olive tree saplings in their lands had been uprooted by local settlers in recent days. A number of villagers with US citizenship invited consulate staff to view the damage up close.
When the American visitors arrived and exited their vehicles, a number of settlers pelted them with rocks. The consulate staff promptly left the scene, ending the incident without anyone being hurt. The rocks caused some light damage to consulate cars.
The US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” about the incident.