Jerusalem, Oct 20 (EFE).- A group of Jewish settlers has doused four Israeli soldiers with pepper spray in two separate overnight incidents in the occupied West Bank, a military spokesman said Thursday.
The spokesman said that Israeli troops were deployed in the town of Huwara in the West Bank city of Nablus to disperse dozens of settlers, who were throwing stones at Palestinians.
Prime minister Yair Lapid described the settlers involved in the acts of violence as “outlaws” and “dangerous criminals.”
“The Jewish outlaws who attacked the IDF soldiers in Huwara are dangerous criminals who must be denounced and brought to justice without hesitation and with the utmost severity,” Lapid said, according to local media.
Aviv Kochavi, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of general staff, added: “It is inconceivable that IDF troops who diligently and devotedly defend Israeli residents would be violently attacked by Jewish settlers.
“This is an extremely serious incident that embodies shameful and disgraceful criminal behavior.”
Settler violence has been on the rise for months, with some 527 attacks against people and property documented this year by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Six Palestinians have died in incidents involving settlers so far this year.
Last week, Jewish settlers armed with iron bars and stones attacked shops and residents in Huwara, leaving more than 40 Palestinians wounded.
Another group of masked settlers confronted Palestinians and Israeli volunteers helping farmers pick olives in the southern part of the West Bank Wednesday night.
At least three Israelis were injured in the Kisan village and, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency, another was stabbed in the back by settlers.
“Every year, during the olive harvest season we see a major uptick in settler violence against Palestinians & those accompanying them, often protected by IDF soldiers as the attacks are carried out. The political/media establishment remains silent on the matter; this is the result,” Breaking the Silence Israeli NGO wrote on Twitter.
A Palestinian was also shot dead Wednesday after he allegedly killed an Israeli security guard in Maale Adumim Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem.EFE