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Israel storms Nablus village after settler assault

Sept. 16, 2011 1:45 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2011 9:38 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers assaulted a Nablus village Friday morning, leading to clashes with Israeli forces injuring 11 Palestinians.

After the settlers were removed by Israeli police, Israeli forces raided Qusra village injuring six villagers with rubber bullets, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Forces surrounded a house sheltering European press agency cameraman Alaa Bedarneh was filming the earlier settler attack, the correspondent reported.

Three children inside the house suffered tear gas inhalation during the military raid, and Bedarneh was injured in the hand, he said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the journalist's agency had requested the army remove him from the village, and he was taken to safety.

Around 20 people were hurling rocks at forces, and the border police were operating in the village, she said, without giving further details.

Settler attack

PA official monitoring settlement activity Ghassan Doughlas told Ma'an that earlier in the day around ten settlers from neighboring settlement Migdalim came into Qusra village south of Nablus.

Fathallah Abu Rida, 25, was injured when settlers shot him in the leg, Doughlas said.

Village guard units established in recent weeks held the settlers at the scene for 30 minutes, before Israeli police arrived and removed settlers from the village, he added.

Israel police say settler wounded in knifing

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an a settler was injured after an argument broke out between two settlers and a 50-year-old Palestinian in an open area near Qusra.

"The Palestinian pulled out a knife and the settler reacted by shooting the Palestinian in the leg," he said.

The injured settler and Palestinian were taken to hospitals, he added, saying police who arrived on the scene had opened an investigation into the incident.

Settler assaults increasing in West Bank

Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib warned on Thursday that a serious increase in settler violence towards West Bank Palestinians threatened escalation of the situation ahead of the Palestinians' bid for membership of the UN.

News reports said two weeks ago that Israeli forces were arming settlers with tear-gas canisters, stun grenades and even trained dogs to counter potential attacks by the Palestinians.

On Sept. 5 settlers broke into Qusra village mosque, smashing windows, burning tires inside the building, and spray-painting walls with offensive slogans.

Village council head Hani Ismail told Ma’an on Tuesday that young men volunteered to guard the entrances to the village after the attacks, and had blocked further groups of armed settlers from entering the village.
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