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Palestinian youths in West Bank
Photo: AFP
Dozens protest stone throwing in West Bank
Settlers arrive at village of Azun in light of recent increase in incidents of stone throwing by Palestinians on Israeli vehicles traveling in area
West Bank settlers have had enough of the stones hurled at their cars. Dozens of Israeli vehicles arrived Sunday morning at the entrance to the village of Azun, east of Qalqilay, in protest of the hurling of stone and Molotov cocktails at Israeli cars traveling in the West Bank.

 

The organizers of the demonstration, which was authorized by the police, protested against the security forces' helplessness in their battle against the stone throwers.

 

The demonstrators did not enter the village, but parked their cars at the roadside and made an appearance. Military forces secured the demonstration, which ended an hour later with no unusual incidents.

 

The settlers told the assistant commander of the district's brigade that if the stone throwing continued, they would block the road every morning.


Sunday's protest (Photo: Gur Dotan)

 

Two Israelis were lightly injured Saturday by stones hurled at the car they were traveling in. One of the injured, a 15-year-old boy, managed to reach him home in the settlement of Karnei Shmoron and was evacuated from there to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba by a Magen David Adom crew.

 

Another Israeli was lightly wounded on Friday after a Molotov cocktail hit his car.

 

Following the stone throwing Saturday, Palestinians reported that a large IDF force had raided the village of Azun and searched its houses.

 

According to the Palestinians, the officer who led the force into the village was none other than "Captain Joe", who had hung leaflets in the village about a week ago, threatening to fire at the residents if they continue throwing stones. This report was not confirmed by an Israeli source.

 

Military sources have said that a rise has been noted in the number of stone-throwing and Molotov cocktail hurling incidents since the beginning of 2008 in the Azun area, in el-Khader south of Jerusalem, and on Road 443 between Modiin and Jerusalem. The IDF has therefore boosted its activities in those areas.

 

Ali Waked contributed to this report

 

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