Jewish settlers and Palestinian villagers clashed in the northern West Bank on Monday before Israeli troops intervened, with 10 people treated for rubber bullet wounds, medical sources said.
Abdel Hafith Wadi, head of the Qusra village council near the northern city of Nablus, said the confrontation erupted as villagers found that 25 olive trees had been cut down in an act of vandalism allegedly carried out by residents of the nearby Esh Kodesh settlement outpost.
“When the farmers went to check their land, around 70 settlers approached them,” he told AFP, saying it had quickly escalated into a brawl, with youths throwing stones.
Israeli troops arrived at the scene and started defending the settlers, firing rubber bullets and tear gas, he told AFP, saying 10 people had been hit by rubber bullets.
“Ten Palestinians were wounded and taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus,” he said, adding that dozens more villagers suffered from tear gas inhalation and were treated in the field.
A hospital spokesman said nine people with rubber bullet injuries had been treated and released, while a 10th person was still being treated for moderate injuries.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that troops had clashed with “dozens of youths throwing stones” in the village, saying one Palestinian had been “lightly injured by rubber bullets.”
She did not comment on the alleged involvement of Jewish settlers.