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Settlers attack Israeli army patrol near Ramallah

Oct. 7, 2011 11:06 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2011 7:30 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- An Israeli army patrol in the West Bank was attacked by settlers who blocked a road in the northern West Bank, provoking a fight between the two sides, an army spokeswoman told AFP on Thursday.

The incident occurred late on Wednesday on a road near Ramallah, she said.

"Last night, during a routine patrol in the Doma area -- northeast of Ramallah -- an IDF (army) force identified an obstruction on the road consisting of stones, and a crowd of Israeli citizens," she told AFP.

"As the soldiers attempted to disperse the crowd, violence broke out and one of the Israelis attacked the soldier," she said, adding that the incident was being investigated by the police who are responsible for all settler-related affairs.

Israeli media reports suggested the settlers attacked the soldiers following rumors they were en route to dismantle an unauthorized settlement outpost.

But the spokeswoman denied the report, saying the troops were merely part of a "routine" patrol.

Major General Avi Mizrahi, head of the military's central command, has expressed concern about the actions of extremist settlers against local Palestinians that he said could threaten the calm prevailing in the West Bank.
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