Israeli settlers attack Palestinians and injure Israeli soldier during pilgrimage

AP , Saturday 19 Nov 2022

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians on Saturday during a pilgrimage in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian news agency, and Israeli forces said at least one soldier was injured by a settler.

Israeli settlers violence
Israeli security forces deploy amid altercations between Jewish settlers on their way to visit the tomb of Othniel ben Kenaz in the area H1 (controlled by Palestinian authorities) and Palestinian residents, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on November 19, 2022. AFP


The incidents happened in the city of Hebron, where thousands of Jewish Israelis visit a sacred tomb annually under the protection of Israeli forces.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that pilgrims attacked Palestinian residents and threw rocks and empty bottles at their houses and vehicles as they entered the city. It said Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians.

Israeli forces also said pilgrims attacked them while they were protecting their entry to the volatile Palestinian town in southern West Bank, adding that one of the pilgrims assaulted a female soldier injuring her lightly.

It was not clear how many of the pilgrims took part in the reported attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid condemned the attack on the soldier calling it "a national disgrace'' and "a serious criminal offense".

 Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, the army chief of staff called for "a rapid lawful response'' to the incident, describing it as "shameful and criminal behavior.''

"This is a very serious event,'' he stressed, "It cannot be that an Israeli civilian will violently attack IDF soldiers who operate to protect and keep civilians safe,'' he added.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has built more than 130 settlements that today are home to nearly 500,000 settlers, who have Israeli citizenship. Nearly 3 million Palestinians live in the territory under open-ended Israeli military rule. The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule over parts of the West Bank and cooperates with Israel on security matters.

The Palestinians want the West Bank to form the main part of their future state. Most countries view the settlements as a violation of international law.

Intensified Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has also killed more than 130 Palestinians this year, making it the deadliest since 2006, according to Israeli rights group B'Tselem.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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