Settlers hurled stones at a Palestinian school near Nablus on Saturday. The school in the village of Urif was empty at the time and no injuries were reported but damage was caused to the building. Security forces that were called to the scene dispersed the settlers but were then pelted with stones by Palestinians. They resorted to crowd-dispersal means.
A councilman from Urif pointed a finger at the residents of the settlement of Yitzhar. He claimed they hurled stones at a tractor near the school and broke a window.
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Several violent clashes between settlers and Palestinians in the area were recorded over the weekend. Settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles after residents of Urif tried to access Yitzhar. IDF officials said that events such as Saturday's disrupt the army's efforts to maintain calm and attend to overall security needs.
Rassan Diglas, a West Bank official, reported of clashes in the village of Qusra, south of Hebron. He claimed the clashes broke out when settlers turned up at agricultural land in the village. Also Saturday, security forces dispersed dozens of Palestinians who hurled stones at the Esh Kodesh outpost.
West Bank clashes during Operation Pillar of Defense (Photo: Reuters)
The past week has seen a sharp rise in the number of West Bank clashes. Settlers reported of nearly 200 incidents where stones and firebombs were hurled and of firing and placement of explosives by Palestinians. The Palestinians on their part complained of numerous cases of stone throwing.
On Thursday, a Palestinian farmer from south Mount Hebron complained of the destruction of 300 of his olive trees. Price tag slogans were found spray-painted nearby. Police launched an investigation.
Price tag incidents were also reported in Urif and the village of Sinjil last week. Palestinians claimed that settlers hurled stones at a single house on the edge of Hawara and caused its windows to shatter.
The IDF is preparing for the possibility of increasing riots ahead of the Palestinian request for a status upgrade at the UN on Thursday. A senior officer at the Central Command said the army has not witnessed such clashes as those seen in the past n the week in a long time.
Elior Levy contributed to this report
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