9 Israelis, 1 Palestinian hurt in West Bank rock attack

Elsewhere, car driven by Israeli citizen hit by gunfire, Palestinian shepherds allegedly attacked by settlers

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Eight Israelis and a Palestinian child were injured Saturday night when unknown assailants threw rocks at the vehicles in which they were traveling near al-Fawar, south of Hebron.

The Israelis, who were in a bus at the time of the attack, were administered first aid at the scene and then evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for further treatment, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The attack was carried out by Palestinian youths who hurled large rocks at passing vehicles, passengers on the bus said.

The Palestinian girl was traveling in a car. She was treated by Red Crescent medics, the report said.

IDF soldiers were searching the area for the assailants.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, near the town of Dayr Qadis, a car driven by an Israeli was hit by gunfire. No one was wounded in that attack.

Also on Saturday, Israeli settlers allegedly attacked two Palestinians shepherds with clubs near the settlement of Shiloh, south of Nablus. The two Palestinians, who were lightly wounded in the attack, said the assailants came from the direction of the settlement of Adei Ad.

Despite a recent uptick in violence against Israelis in the West Bank — with two soldiers killed, a retired IDF colonel bludgeoned to death outside his home in the Jordan Valley, and a 9-year-old girl lightly wounded by gunfire — Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said earlier in the week there is no indication that a new Palestinian “popular uprising” is in the offing.

“There is no sign of a popular uprising or so-called third intifada,” he said on Tuesday. “There is no motivation for it, and we see no organization of it,” he added, noting: “Of course, we see all these events as a serious matter and are prepared for any escalation.”

Defense officials and analysts, by contrast, have warned in recent days that the West Bank may be heading for a popular uprising, citing the series of attacks. On Monday, former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said the Palestinians were ripe for a third intifada. However, Ya’alon said it was wrong to look at the attacks as small parts of a coordinated whole.

“We treat these events as a wave because it is a statistical anomaly,” he added. “When we analyze each event on its own facts, somebody committed it for one reason or another, often for a nationalist or criminal reason, such as the tractor in the Rama army base, but there is no organization behind it, not Fatah, not Hamas or any other organization,” he said.

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