Jewish settlers, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian villagers clashed with guns, rocks and tear gas, leaving five Palestinians hospitalized Saturday, hospital officials said. Israeli media said five settlers were lightly injured.
The confrontation erupted Friday evening near the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar. It started after Yitzhar residents saw several Palestinians walking toward the settlement. Later, about two dozen settlers, some masked and armed, walked from Yitzhar toward the Palestinian village of Orif, firing bullets and throwing rocks, villagers said, according to the AP.
Orif's mayor, Fawzi Shehadeh, said Palestinians threw rocks at the settlers. According to him, Israeli forces entered the village to try separate Palestinians from the Jewish settlers. He said Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel pellets. In all, five Palestinians remained hospitalized Saturday - three with gunshot wounds and two who were hit by rubber bullets, said Palestinian health official Khaled Saleh.