Four Palestinians said wounded in settler attack in West Bank

Palestinian health ministry says two listed in serious condition following incident in Kafr Thulth area; two Israelis also hurt in clash

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli settlers are seen approaching Palestinians in the Arab al-Khouli hamlet, near the West Bank outpost of El Matan,  July 13, 2023. (Courtesy via Yesh Din)
Israeli settlers are seen approaching Palestinians in the Arab al-Khouli hamlet, near the West Bank outpost of El Matan, July 13, 2023. (Courtesy via Yesh Din)

Four Palestinians were wounded in an attack by Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian medical officials and an Israeli rights group said. Two Israelis were also reported wounded in the incident.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said in a statement that four people were wounded as a result of an attack by settlers in the area of the town of Kafr Thulth. The ministry said two of the Palestinians were listed in serious condition, after suffering skull fractures.

The official PA news agency, Wafa, and the Yesh Din rights group reported that the incident occurred in the nearby hamlet of Arab al-Khouli, east of Kafr Thulth, and close to the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Shomron.

According to Yesh Din, the settlers set fire to a number of tents in the hamlet and assaulted residents. It claimed that a herd of goats was also stolen by the settlers.

“The army and the police are present at the scene but are not controlling the rioters,” Yesh Din said.

It said that there were elderly Palestinians among the injured.

Meanwhile, Rescuers Without Borders, an Israeli emergency service operating in the West Bank, said there was a verbal confrontation between Palestinians and young Jewish Israelis that turned violent at the adjacent illegal outpost of El Matan.

The service said the Palestinians hurled stones at the Israelis, wounding one. A second was assaulted and suffered mild blunt trauma, it added.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was taking the 19-year-old Israeli wounded by the stone-throwing to the Meir Medical Center in the central city of Kfar Saba. MDA said he was in good condition after being hit in the head by a stone.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told The Times of Israel that “verbal and physical friction between Palestinians and Israeli citizens developed” in the area.

The military spokesperson said both sides hurled stones at each other, while Palestinians also set fire to tires. They said the army was also aware of reports of Israelis who set fire to Palestinian structures in the area.

“Security forces that arrived at the scene responded with crowd dispersal means in order to disperse the friction,” they added.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Police.

Last month, in the wake of a Palestinian terror attack in which four Israelis were gunned down by Hamas terrorists, hundreds of settlers rampaged in Palestinian towns and villages for five days, setting fire to homes and cars, and even opening fire in some cases. One Palestinian was killed in unclear circumstances. Two suspects have since been charged in the rioting.

The area near the El Matan outpost saw a violent clash between settlers and Palestinians in 2020.

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