Palestinian reportedly shot after attacking civilian Israeli vehicle in West Bank

IDF investigating incident near settlement of Ma’ale Levona; clashes break out between troops, Palestinian rioters in Nablus as Jewish pilgrims visit Joseph’s Tomb shrine

Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early August 15, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early August 15, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A Palestinian was reportedly shot after attacking a civilian Israeli vehicle in the West Bank late Wednesday night during clashes near the settlement of Ma’ale Levona, as fighting broke out in several areas of the territory overnight.

The Binyamin Regional Council, where the settlement is located, said an area resident had been driving with his family when they encountered large stones blocking a road.

When the vehicle reached the roadblock, Palestinians surrounded the car, prevented it from moving and pelted it with stones. The driver fired at the Palestinians with his personal weapon and managed to flee the scene, the council said.

Palestinian reports said one man had been wounded in the chest and taken to a hospital in Ramallah.

The Israel Defense Forces said that Palestinians had thrown stones at civilian Israeli vehicles near the settlement, lightly injuring an Israeli woman. A driver whose car was damaged fired back at the attackers, the IDF said, adding that troops had been dispatched to the scene.

The IDF said it was checking into the reports that a Palestinian had been wounded in the incident.

Also late Wednesday, clashes broke out between Palestinians and IDF troops in the West Bank city of Nablus as Jewish pilgrims visited Joseph’s Tomb, a shrine in the city.

Dozens of Palestinian rioters burned tires, threw firebombs and hurled improvised explosives at the IDF troops protecting the Jewish visitors.

The Palestinian Red Crescent medical service said a Palestinian had been injured by a tear gas canister that hit him in the head.

Busloads of Orthodox Jews visit Joseph’s Tomb under IDF protection on a monthly basis, and the pilgrimages almost always spark violent clashes with Palestinian locals.

The shrine, regarded by some as the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, is located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is officially under complete Palestinian Authority control, though the Israeli military regularly enters, despite Palestinian opposition.

The Palestinian Authority police on Monday extracted five tourists who illegally entered Joseph’s Tomb, after they were attacked by an angry mob.

In a third overnight incident, near Qalqilya, Palestinians threw a firebomb at an Israeli bus, causing no injuries. Two suspects were arrested.

Palestinian reports also said IDF troops had entered the West Bank town of Tulkarm and that heavy gunfire had been heard in the area.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

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