TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Israeli forces have attacked Palestinians in the West Bank in an area that has recently been at loggerheads, Israeli forces and Palestinian medical personnel have said.
The clashes at the end of Saturday were days of unrest in the West Bank area and violence in other parts of the West Bank and east of Jerusalem.
During the war, military officials said hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and set fire to tires and fired shots into the area. The military said the military had responded with fire extinguishers and “riot tactics,” which are often tear gas and deadly bombs.
The military also said gunmen had been shot dead in a car on their way to a military base near the West Bank city of Nablus, south of Homesh. It was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to the altercation.
The Palestinian Red Crescent says 10 people have been injured in the blaze. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says one of them, a 17-year-old, was seriously injured. Many others were injured by rubber bullets.
One soldier was slightly injured, soldiers said.
Homesh, north of the West Bank, was disbanded as part of Israel from the Gaza Strip in 2005. But in recent years, Israeli settlers have returned to pray and set up illegal bays on the site.
Last week, a man with a Palestinian gun shot a car full of Jewish seminarians near a security checkpoint. Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed and two others were injured near Homesh, which the Israeli government considers illegal.
On Thursday, thousands of Jews marched to Homesh to mark the end of Dimentman’s funeral, and on Friday, Israeli troops demolished houses built by residents.
According to Israeli media reports, Jewish activists are expected to march on the shelter on Saturday night, calling for Palestinian TV to alert people in nearby villages.
The conflict comes between the Israeli and Palestinian violence elsewhere in the West Bank and east of Jerusalem. Earlier this month, an Orthodox Jew was seriously injured when he was stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist outside the walls of the ancient city of Jerusalem. One week later, a Hamas soldier fired in an old town, killing an Israeli man. All the rebels were killed by the Israeli army.
Settler’s anti-Palestinian violence has seen a similar increase during the olive harvest. In mid-November, Jewish settlers attacked a group of Palestinian farmers with pepper and sticks in the fields around Homesh, injuring four people.
Israel annexed east of Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and these territories are now home to more than 700,000 people in Israel. Many foreign powers see Israel’s stability as a barrier to peace.
Palestinians seek east of Jerusalem and the West Bank as part of an independent state.