ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Huwara resident's truck torched outside home

Settlers reportedly shoot two Palestinians, torch cars in latest West Bank attacks

Man and boy hospitalized after perpetrators said to descend from Yitzhar, fire shots, throw stones and clash with Palestinian residents in Asira al-Qibliya

Two Palestinians were shot and injured, and a pair of vehicles and a home were torched during violent settler attacks in the northern West Bank, several media outlets reported Monday.

Asira al-Qibliya Mayor Hafez Salah told Palestinian media that a violent group descended on the village from the flashpoint Yitzhar settlement. The group opened fire and threw rocks in clashes with residents, he said.

A 20-year-old man was shot in the stomach and a 16-year-old was hit in the hand.

Both were taken to the hospital, but their conditions were not immediately known. The group Looking the Occupation in the Eye said they suffered medium-to-severe injuries.

During the attack, a vehicle and a home were set on fire, Salah told official Palestinian news site Wafa.

Citing a security official, Army Radio reported that Israeli soldiers were later deployed to the area and dispersed assailants, but there were no reports of arrests.

In a later incident in the nearby village of Huwara, a truck belonging to a Palestinian was also set alight by settlers. The Wafa said the car belonged to Huwara resident Abdullah Odeh and that it was parked in front of his home.

The incidents come as Israel faces increasing pressure to crack down on settler violence, with both the United States and the United Kingdom slapping sanctions on extremist settlers alleged to have carried out attacks on Palestinians.

At least 10 Palestinians were killed and dozens of homes were torched across the West Bank in settler attacks in 2023, human rights group Yesh Din said in January.

The violence spiked after the October 7 massacre carried out by Hamas in southern Israel, in which some 1,200 people were slaughtered and 253 were taken hostage, but violence had been on the rise before then, according to watchdogs.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on January 1 that there was a daily average of three settler-related incidents in the first eight months of 2023 compared to the two-per-day average in 2022 — the highest rate since the beginning of record-keeping in 2006.

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