A Palestinian infiltrator stabbed a 9-year-old settler in the West Bank outpost of Shalhevet early Saturday, sparking a settler rampage in the nearby Palestinian village Asira al-Kabaliya that left at least eight Palestinians wounded, two of them moderately.
The mayor of the village, Hosni Sharaf, said dozens of settlers from Yitzhar, the settlement adjacent to Shalhevet, fired their weapons in the air, overturned a car and broke the windows of three homes. The mayor said several residents had been wounded, of which two were shot with live rounds.
The Israel Defense Forces imposed a curfew on Asira al-Kabaliya following the clash.
At present, no settlers have been arrested in relation to the violence.
Events began early Saturday when a Palestinian man set fire to an abandoned building in Shalhevet, the IDF said. The boy was stabbed when he spotted the intruder and tried to call for help, the military said. The boy was treated for minor wounds at a hospital in Petah Tikvah.
The resulting rampage continued for almost three hours.
Resident Ahmed Daoud said settlers broke windows in his house and shot at water tanks on his rooftop. He said he, his children and a neighbor threw stones from the roof to try to drive the assailants away.
Daoud said his 10-year-old son was lightly hurt by shrapnel and that the neighbor was hit in the face by a rubber-coated steel bullet.
Sharaf said that in all, two villagers were hit by live fire and four by rubber bullets. It was not clear whether soldiers also opened fire to enforce the curfew.
One of those hit by live fire, 17-year-old Wafa Subboh, was struck in the shoulder and was treated at Raffidiyeh Hospital in the nearby city of Nablus, hospital officials said.
Another resident of the village, Muhammad Asayrah, 58, told Haaretz described a "cat and mouse" game between troops and the rioting settlers, who he said went from house to house in the village and fired randomly at villagers.
Yitzhar resident: Stabbing happened under the noses of IDF troops
Yehuda Liebman, a member of the Yitzhar settlement security patrol, said Saturday that the stabbing took place directly above an IDF post manned by troops, saying that "the incitement, the fire that raged, the stabbing and the escape of the terrorist" all took place under the soldiers' noses and "no one fired a shot."
Initial IDF investigations have found that troops stationed in Yitzhar did not notice the terrorist entering the Shalhevet neighborhood, and only spotted him when he exited the settlement and was not carrying a knife, and therefore did not raise their suspicion.
"There is always movement from the settlement to the outside and therefore it didn?t raise suspicion. He entered the neighborhood without us seeing him, probably by way of a nearby wadi (dry creek bed)," an IDF officer said.
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