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Clashes erupt between settlers, Palestinians near Ramallah

Oct. 2, 2015 6:05 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 3, 2015 12:41 P.M.)
Palestinians from the al-Jalazone Refugee Camp clash with Israeli forces at the entrance the Jewish-only settlement of Beit El near Ramallah on Oct. 24, 2014 (AFP/Abbas Momani, File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted between Israeli settlers and Palestinian youth from the al-Jalazone Refugee Camp near the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah on Friday.

Dozens of Israeli settlers from the Beit El settlement closed the main street between Nablus and Ramallah in protest of a shooting carried out by suspected Palestinian gunmen that left two Israeli settlers dead.

Palestinian youth arrived to the area in attempt to prevent Israeli settlers from throwing rocks at Palestinian cars, witnesses said, adding that the youth threw rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Israeli forces reportedly forced settlers away from the street after they come under attack from Palestinians from the refugee camp, before opening live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas on the group.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the clashes.

The spokesperson told Ma’an that Palestinians held slingshots, threw rocks, and burned tires while Israeli settlers “formed a road block and hurled rocks at the Palestinians.”

Israeli soldiers and border police arrived to the scene and attempted to disperse the crowds.

When the crowds did not disperse, Israeli forces fired toward the lower extremities of Palestinians with .22 caliber bullets, confirming one hit, the spokesperson said.

The riots were not dispersed and are still ongoing, they added.

Settlers living in the occupied West Bank have carried out a slew of attacks on Palestinians and their property since Eitam and Naama Henkin, both in their 30s, were shot while driving on Thursday night between the illegal settlements of Itamar and Elon More.

Israeli military forces have locked down large portions of the occupied Palestinian territory in pursuit of the gunmen.

Attacks between Palestinians and Israeli settlers living illegally in the Palestinian territory are common, however fatal attacks have increased in recent months.

Israelis who carry out attacks are rarely prosecuted for such attacks, many of which have been carried out in the presence of armed Israeli military personnel over the years.
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