Clashes erupted Monday afternoon between Palestinians and Jewish settlers near the West Bank town of Nablus. One settler was lightly injured from stones, while the Palestinians said nine people sustained wounds in the clashes, which apparently broke out after settlers uprooted seedlings in a Palestinian field.
Palestinian sources said at least three people were injured from IDF fire. Ghassan Doughlas, a Palestinian official in charge of monitoring settlements in the northern West Bank, said settlers surrounded the village of Qasra before the clashes erupted, adding that the firing began when IDF forces arrived at the scene.
The IDF said Palestinians filed a complaint with its Coordination and Liaison Administration according to which settlers had uprooted trees in the Nablus area. The settlers claim dozens of Palestinians wielding axes and clubs arrived at the Alei Ayin outpost.
The army said its forces were attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers during the clashes near the village of Qasra, adding that soldiers opened fire at six Palestinians after sensing their lives were at risk. Three other Palestinians were hurt from stones thrown by settlers.
The condition of those injured in the clashes remains unclear. IDF forces used tear gas to disperse the Palestinians and settlers.
Palestinian sources said some 500 olive tree seedlings were cut down overnight Friday in a village located south of Nablus. The Civil Administration confirmed the report.
Tensions in the West Bank have mounted this past week following clashes between settlers and IDF forces during the razing of illegal structures in the Havat Gilad settlement. Settlers responded with a series of "price-tag" activities, in which they seek revenge by attacking Palestinians for every outpost that is demolished.
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