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Ahrar Al-Jalil Brigades claims responsibility for knife attack on young settler

Sept. 13, 2008 10:07 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2008 10:07 A.M.)
Nablus - Ma'an - The Ahrar Al-Jalil Brigades, an unknown and self-proclaimed militant group based in Israel, claimed responsibility for the knife attack on a 9-year-old settler boy which sparked a series of Israeli army and settler attacks on villages south of Nablus.

Following the alleged stabbing of an Israeli settler boy by a Palestinian, Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian villages, injuring 10 Palestinians. Israeli troops invaded the areas south of Nablus, saying they were looking for the Palestinian knifeman.

The events took place first in the unauthorized Israeli settlement of Shalhevet near Yitzhar on Saturday morning, where reports say a Palestinian man entered the area and stabbed a nine-year-old settler boy, and set fire to his home. The sources said the boy sustained moderate injuries.

The man was said to flee in the direction of the northern West bank villages of Asira Al-Qibliya and Madama.

Israeli troops then entered the scene, according to an eyewitness, saying they were trying to locate the Palestinian responsible for the attack. They stormed the villages and imposed a curfew. Shortly after Settlers arrived in the area and began attacking Palestinian homes. Israeli soldiers opened fire randomly to protect the settlers.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli settlers attacked dozens of houses in Asira Al-Qibliya one of which was severely damaged. The home is owned by Qasim Salih, whose car was also destroyed by dozens rampaging settlers.

Settlers also stormed homes of Abdul-Basit Ahmad, Ibrahim Mikhlif, Jamal, Yousif Dawood, Muhammad Dawood, Ahmad Dawood and Ahmad Abdullah.

As a result of the settler attacks ten Palestinians were injured.

Palestinian medical sources within the Palestinian Red Crescent identified the Palestinian victims of the settler attacks as 17-year-old Wafa Subih who sustained wounds in the left hand, 42-year-old Radi Asayra who received a rubber-coated metal bullet in the jaw and 26-year-old Yasin Hussein who received a gunshot injury to his left foot.

Violence continued into Saturday afternoon, and saw seven more Palestinains injured, including 29-year-old Ibrahim Hamad, 20-year-old Radi Tahir, 7-year-old Muhammad Dawood, 32-year-old Rasim Ahmad, 60-year-old Abdul-Fattah Ahmad, 25-year-old Ahmad Ahmad, and 26-year-old Noor Addin Hasan.

All those injured were from Asira Al-Qibliya.

In the nearby village of Urif, head of the village council Abu Ammar told Ma'an that dozens of Israeli settlers were surrounding the village and closing the main road to Asira Al-Qibliya.

Ahrar Al-Jalil Brigades

Most recently, Ahrar Al-Jalil (Freedom for the Galilee) denied a claim of responsibility for two roadside bombs that hit Israeli military Jeeps near Gaza. This summer they claimed responsibility for the two bulldozer attacks in Jerusalem, as well as a 12 July shooting incident where one Israeli was injured near Lion's gate in the Old City. In December the group claimed a drive by shooting of an Israeli in the Golan Heights.

***Updated 1:48 Bethlehem time

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