Three Palestinians killed in clashes with settlers in West Bank

Violence reported between Palestinian villagers from Qusra and settlers from nearby Esh Kodesh

An image that appears to show masked settlers near the West Bank village of Qusra, October 11, 2023. (Screenshot, X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An image that appears to show masked settlers near the West Bank village of Qusra, October 11, 2023. (Screenshot, X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said Wednesday that three Palestinians had been killed in the West Bank village of Qusra, close to Nablus.

A video shared by Palestinian media outlets showed a number of apparently masked settlers, some of them armed, as gunfire rang out in the area.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that four Palestinians were shot with live fire and nine more were injured in the incident.

It further said that settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost in the West Bank, near Shiloh, attacked Qusra villagers who confronted them.

There was no immediate comment by Israeli authorities on the incident.

Ynet reported that clashes broke out between the settlers and the villagers. According to the report, security forces received an alert on Wednesday afternoon of rock-throwing by both settlers and Palestinian villagers. Shortly after, the military received reports that gunmen fired at a military guard post near Qusra.

In response, a group of armed settlers from Esh Kosdeh arrived at the village on ATVs, opened fire and set electricity poles in the village on fire, the report said. Troops then entered the village to disperse the clashes.

In response to a query by The Times of Israel, a military spokesperson said the army was aware of an apparent incident involving gunfire and was looking into the matter.

There have been repeated incidents over the past year of young settlers violently raiding villages in rampages that have led to a handful of Palestinian deaths, scores injured and significant property damaged.

Nonetheless, the assailants are rarely arrested, let alone prosecuted for their actions.

Violence had 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.

Israel is closely monitoring events in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and on its northern border five days into a war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip following the terror group’s shock assault on Israel on Saturday in which terrorists infiltrated into Israeli communities, massacring 1,200 people according to the latest tally, most of them civilians.

More than 3,000 were injured, and an estimated 100-150 were captured and taken to the Gaza Strip. Their fate is not yet known.

Hamas launched volleys of rockets as its onslaught began Saturday and has continued to fire rockets into Israeli cities over the past five days, including at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and southern communities near the Palestinian enclave ruled by the terror group.

In the north, Lebanese Hezbollah terror group launched anti-tank guided missiles at an Israeli army post on the northern border on Wednesday, to which Israel responded with a drone strike on a Hezbollah post.

There have been several deadly clashes on the northern border in recent days, some of them claimed by Palestinian terror groups operating out of Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon, and others by Hezbollah itself.

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