Jewish settlers, Palestinians clash in West Bank
Jerusalem: Palestinian villagers and Jewish settlers on Saturday clashed in the northern West Bank village of Kusra, leaving one demonstrator wounded after he was reportedly shot.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for shooting Helmi Abbul-Aziz, a 24-year-old man who took part in the protests that reflect mounting tensions as Palestinians in the West Bank demonstrate against Israel`s control of the territory.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 150 Palestinians and 25 Jewish settlers took part in the clashes.
Two residents who witnessed the clashes said that Israeli forces dispersing the Palestinians used teargas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, but not live fire.
Settler officials were not immediately available for comment on the Jewish Sabbath, but villagers said the most likely perpetrator was a Jewish settler.
They said a group of Israeli civilians had encroached on to their village lands armed with guns that they initially fired during the melee.
Basem Nazal, a resident of Kusra, said groups of settlers were uprooting their olive trees and vandalising Palestinian homes close to the wildcat Jewish outpost of Eish Kodesh.
There are some 3,00,000 Israeli Jewish settlers living in the West Bank, which the international community condemns.
Palestinians seek the West Bank, a hilly territory which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, for part of their future state. A hardline minority of Jewish settlers frequently attack nearby Palestinian villagers and their property.
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