Palestinians from the village of Kusra in the Shomron have reported that settlers from the outpost of Esh Kodesh (Holy Fire) burned six of their vehicles overnight Thursday. The settlers for their part deny any involvement.
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According to the Palestinians, a group of settles entered the village, burned the cars, and then began clashing with residents, only to be dispersed by security forces who later arrived on the scene.
However, the settlers vehemently deny the allegations.
Scorched Kusra car (Photo: Panet Website)
The outpost's secretary, Aharon Katsuf said: "This is a case of eastern imagination (a derogative term denoting the inclination of non-westerners to fib and exaggerate), a libel propagated by the residents of Kusra. At Esh Kodesh, during the night, we we're all busy sleeping, we didn't make any mess anywhere," the secretary said.
"It is amazing how the aggressor, who attacks us and IDF soldiers with stones on a daily basis, tries to turn everything around and present himself as the victim," he added.
Children play around burnt car (Photo: AP)
Wednesday saw reports of riots and clashes in the village between the Palestinian residents and security forces which resulted in two lightly wounded Border Guard officers. The officers and soldiers responded with riot dispersal means.
Palestinians claim the clashes began after bulldozers arrived at the northern part of their village with the intent of razing an electricity facility. The residents protested, claiming its destruction would lead to blackouts for some of the residents.
Additionally, the Palestinians claim that during the clashes, security forces used tear gas against the protesters.
West Banks heats up (Photo: Panet Website)
Additional clashes erupted at the Hawara Checkpoint near Nablus on Wednesday.
Palestinian youths arrived at the checkpoint and began burning tires and pelting the soldiers with rocks. IDF forces used riot control equipment against the protesters.
The protests seem to have broken out due to the continued detention of administrative prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails. A march to Ofer Prison, where the hunger-striking prisoners are kept, was held Thursday morning.
The Esh Kodesh outpost made the headlines at the beginning of the month when price tag graffiti was found in the Qabalan village.
The incident was recorded on a local gas station's security camera. In the video, two people wearing backpacks can be seen slashing the tires of some of the cars. Later the words "Solidarity with Esh Kodesh" were found spray painted on an adjacent wall.
Clashes between Esh Kodesh settlers and Palestinians were also reported back in December, leading to massive security presence in the area as well as numerous rock-throwing incidents.
Itamar Fleishman contributed to the report
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