At least 16 Palestinians hurt as settlers riot in West Bank

Published April 8th, 2009 - 08:54 GMT

Dozens of Israeli settlers rampaged on Wednesday through the West Bank village of Safa, north of Hebron, smashing car windows and damaging homes, residents and medics said. Ambulances evacuated the wounded residents to hospitals. According to medics, at least 16 Palestinians were treated for gunshot wounds and another 15 for the effects of teargas.


Safa residents said about 200 settlers, some of them carrying weapons, entered the village. One eyewitness said that Israeli military patrols were present, and watched the settlers shooting without stopping them. According to locals, soldiers also fired gunshots and tear gas canisters to prevent local youths from confronting the settlers.


Meanwhile, calls were heard through mosques' loudspeakers in the neighboring Palestinian towns of Beit Ummar and Surif asking residents to head to Safa and help protect its people from settlers. Hundreds of youths responded to the call and hurried to Safa.


Last Thursday in Bat Ayin, a Palestinian man reportedly killed a teenage settler and wounded a 7-year-old with an axe.


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