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Settlers, Palestinians clash near Yitzhar settlement in West Bank

Three brush fires start in the area, apparently by arsonists; IDF troops, fire and rescue service scramble to the scene

FILE: A masked Jewish settler swings a slingshot as he stands near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, on May 19, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)
FILE: A masked Jewish settler swings a slingshot as he stands near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, on May 19, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

Clashes broke out Friday afternoon between Israelis and Palestinians near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, and fire and rescue services were battling to douse the flames of three separate fires near the area.

Fires started in the Hawara junction, the Yitzhar junction and near the road leading to Yitzhar itself, and were believed to be the work of arsonists.

IDF troops and the settlement’s security detail were scrambled to the scene of the clashes. There were no immediate reports on injuries, damage or arrests.

Since last month’s firebomb attack on a Palestinian home in the West Bank village of Duma, in which a father and a toddler were killed, there have been multiple instances of low-level conflict in the West Bank, including stabbing and car-ramming attacks against IDF soldiers and Border Police officers.

On Wednesday night, an IDF soldier was moderately wounded when an explosive device was hurled at an army base near the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo, on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. The soldier, who suffered injuries to his eye, face, and shoulder, was transferred to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for further treatment.

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