West Bank settlement of Shiloh - Moti Milrod
Construction site in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh, June 21, 2010. Photo by Moti Milrod
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Unknown assailants attacked Palestinian construction workers in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh on Thursday, in the wake of recent tensions over last week's deadly stabbing attack in Itamar, in which five family members were killed.

According to preliminary eyewitness reports, six masked individuals approached two Palestinian construction workers, doused them with pepper spray, striking one of the workers with an iron bar. The worker that was attacked with the bar was treated on site.

Army radio has reported that an Israeli was attacked in the fray as well.

There has been an ongoing dispute between surrounding settlements over the employment of Palestinians in Shiloh. Two months ago, young settlers smashed the windows of cars belonging to Palestinians working in Shiloh, with one local Shiloh resident saying he would personally reimburse the workers.

The incident came in the wake of tensions following a deadly stabbing attack at the West Bank settlement of Itamar on Friday, in which five family members, including three children, were killed.

On Monday, dozens of Israelis positioned themselves on the road between the West Bank settlement of Itamar and the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta, hurling stones at local residents.

Palestinian sources reported that two residents were lightly wounded in the incident.

Israeli security forces were summoned to the scene and began combing the areas for suspects, who apparently fled immediately.