JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank overnight, setting brush fires and hurling stones, Palestinian officials and an Israeli rights group said Monday.
It appeared to be a revenge attack after three Israelis were wounded in a drive-by shooting at a nearby traffic junction on Sunday.
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said dozens of settlers attacked the village of Jaloud. It circulated videos showing the fires, with people shouting in the background. Israeli security forces arrested 11 Palestinians and four people were wounded by rubber bullets, B’Tselem said.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, provided a similar account, saying the villagers had come out to defend the village after the settlers attacked.
The Israeli military said Israeli civilians and Palestinians hurled rocks at each other outside the village and that “a number of locations were ignited.” It did not provide details on what triggered the violence. It said around 10 people were detained, but did not identify them.
Radical Israeli settlers have been known to carry out so-called “price tag” attacks on Palestinian communities in response to violence or perceived Israeli plans to restrict settlement activity.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state. Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in more than 100 settlements scattered across the West Bank, which is home to some 2.5 million Palestinians.
The Palestinians view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace, a position with wide international support.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would be a harsh response to Sunday’s shooting. “We will not allow terrorism to raise its head and we will strike our enemies with force,” he said Sunday.
Clashes broke out in another village in the northern West Bank late Sunday during an Israeli military raid. The Palestinian Health Ministry said five people were wounded by live ammunition in the village of Beita.
The military said troops entered the village to search for suspected attackers after the shooting. It said Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at the soldiers, who responded by opening fire.