Palestinians say 4 hurt by gunfire in West Bank clashes with settlers

Video from scene shows several Palestinian vehicles set on fire north of Ramallah; IDF says settlers opened fire during ‘violent friction’

Palestinian vehicles allegedly set on fire by settlers near Ramallah in the West Bank on May 2y, 2023. (Screen capture/Twitter: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Palestinian vehicles allegedly set on fire by settlers near Ramallah in the West Bank on May 2y, 2023. (Screen capture/Twitter: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

At least four Palestinians were wounded by gunfire during clashes with settlers north of Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian media reported Friday.

Palestinian reports said four people were hit by the gunfire, including one person in serious condition with a bullet wound to the head.

Videos posted to social media showed fields and several vehicles apparently set on fire by the settlers.

Witnesses told the Palestinian Wafa news agency that five vehicles and 270 bales of straw were torched.

A military spokesperson told The Times of Israel that troops were dispatched to the area following reports of “violent friction” between settlers and Palestinians near the Adei Ad settlement.

The spokesperson said settlers had opened fire during the clashes, and that both sides were hurling stones.

“As a result of the violent friction, a number of Palestinians and Israeli civilians were injured,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Israel Defense Forces had received reports of Palestinian-owned cars being set on fire.

IDF troops along with police officers used riot dispersal means and live fire in the air to eventually disperse the sides, the spokesperson said.

Israel Police launched an investigation into the violence.

It was the second reported incident of clashes between settlers and Palestinians this week.

Several Palestinians and an Israeli settler were hurt Wednesday during clashes near the northern West Bank outpost of Homesh, in violence that erupted after European officials toured the area.

According to the Yesh Din rights group, several extremist settlers attacked Palestinians in the village of Burqa and set fire to homes. Video from Burqa showed residents trying to extinguish the blazes.

Yesh Din said the incident came after European Union diplomats visited the area around Homesh, a former outpost evacuated in 2005 after the High Court found it was built partly on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of Burqa.

The IDF did not respond to requests for comment on the Wednesday clashes.

Last week, the army lifted an order forbidding civilians from entering the site of the former settlement, which right-wing groups say they hope to resettle.

The Peace Now anti-settlement watchdog, which along with Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh led the tour for the diplomats, denounced the violence in Burqa as a “revenge operation” by settlers.

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