Israelis, Palestinians clash in West Bank village where settler was slain
Jerusalem, Dec 23 (EFE).- Israeli troops clashed Thursday with residents of a Palestinian village on the West Bank where a Jewish settler was fatally shot last weekend.
The confrontations followed a protest by settlers on a hilltop overlooking the village of Burqa.
Thousands of settlers, according to Palestine Authority news agency Wafa, came to the area on Thursday for a rally to demand that the Israeli government allow the reconstruction of Homesh, an illegal settlement demolished in 2005.
Israel’s courts have ruled that the hilltop where Homesh stood is private Palestinian property, yet the settler group maintained a presence there in the form of a yeshiva – Jewish religious school – in an array of mobile homes, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The victim of last Sunday’s shooting, 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman, was a student at the Homesh yeshiva.
Units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) blocked the roads into and out of Burqa ensure the safety of the settlers gathering at the Homesh site.
Wafa said that more than 120 Palestinian civilians were injured in Thursday’s clashes, “which erupted shortly after hundreds of Israeli settlers protected by army attempted to break into and attack the village.”
A journalist and 41 other people were hit by rubber-coated bullets, while 83 Palestinians suffered ill effects from tear gas, Wafa said, citing the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The IDF and Israeli police denied any knowledge of an attack on Burqa by settlers, but Yesh Din, a leftist human rights organization in Israel, said that Jewish militants committed acts of vandalism in the village. EFE