Photo: Rabbi Arik Asherman
West Bank settlement of Yitzhar
Photo: Rabbi Arik Asherman

Palestinian stabs Yitzhar boy; settlers riot

Nine-year-old boy taken to hospital with light wounds after being stabbed in West Bank settlement Saturday by Palestinian who torched empty home; settlers riot in nearby village in response, at least four Palestinians wounded. Villager says settlers sprayed Star of David on house

A 9-year-old boy from the West Bank settlement of Shalhevet, near Yitzhar, was stabbed near his home early Saturday morning by a Palestinian intruder who torched an empty home. 


The boy was lightly wounded and was taken to Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva for treatment.


A preliminary investigation  revealed that a Palestinian man entered Shalhevet and torched an emptoy home. As he was preparing to torch another structure, the boy approached him. The Palestinian then stabbed the boy and escaped.


After the incident was reported, IDF troops scoured neighboring villages in search of the culprit. A suspect was arrested at one point but was said to be uninvolved in the case.


Soon after the incident, about 100 settlers residing in Yitzhar and its enviorns arrived at the West Bank village of Asira al-Kabaliya and began to riot.


Mayor Hosni Sharaf said settlers fired guns in the air, overturned a car and broke windows in three houses. The military imposed a curfew.


An Asira al-Kabaliya councilmember told Ynet that at least six people, including a 10-year-old boy suffered gunshot wounds, but security forces said only four Palestinians were lightly wounded. "Glass was broken, they tried to set buildings on fire, and vehicles were damaged," Ahmad Shami said.


Witnesses reported that at least four of the injuries were caused by rubber bullets fired by soldiers, adding that two more people were injured by live gunfire. One witness told Ynet that security forces were present at the scene, "but it's hard to say they were trying to prevent (the settlers') actions."


One village resident said that instead of serving as a buffer between settlers and residents, security forces were concentrating on driving the Palestinians away from the settlers. "The way they pushed us away was much more efficient than the way they were pushing away the settlers," he said.


Mayor Hosni Sharaf says settlers fired guns in the air, overturned a car and broke windows in three houses. The military imposed a curfew.


One of the village's residents said she was at home with her children when the settlers raided. "They sprayed a Star of David on the wall of our house and sprayed us with a chemical substance. We began coughing and some of the children vomited."


Another villager, Ahmed Daud, said the settlers shattered the windows of his home after his son and a few neighbors hurled stones in their direction. He said his 10-year-old son sustained light shrapnel injuries and that his neighbor was hit in the face by a rubber-coated bullet.


The IDF said soldiers did not open fire while operating in the village and that all of the injuries to local Palestinians were the result of settler attacks, adding that the forces worked to disperse the settlers and that the weapons of two settlers were confiscated.


Raanan Ben-Zur contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 09.13.08, 08:23
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