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At least nine Palestinians and one Israeli were injured during violent clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers from the outpost of Eli Ayin, near the Jewish settlements of Shiloh and Eli, in the West Bank yesterday. Eight residents of the village of Kusra were shot and wounded.

Six Palestinians were admitted to a Nablus hospital after the clashes.

According to a few Palestinian eyewitnesses, settlers living in tents nearby fired at a group of Palestinians protecting their olive trees, but apparently some of the Palestinians were shot by Israeli soldiers trying to separate the two groups.

One of the Palestinians was in a serious condition, and his leg may have to be amputated.

Sanur Odeh, 30, told Haaretz yesterday that he called the Kusra local council for help after seeing three settlers approach an olive grove where a fellow villager was working, at 1 P.M. Odeh said the settlers were part of a group of settlers that has been living in tents nearby for a number of weeks and uprooted dozens of olive trees about a month ago. He said that when the settlers noticed the Palestinian response they called in their own reinforcements, around 15 armed settlers who according to Odeh shot at the Palestinians and hit, with a rock, the one who was seriously injured.

Other Palestinians claimed that the settlers uprooted hundreds of saplings. The settlers said the Palestinians were trying to encroach on farmland adjacent to the outposts surrounding Shiloh, and claimed that the villagers used clubs and axes in the course of yesterday's brawls.

Troops open fire

Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade said they opened fire when they judged that their lives were in danger.

Residents of the outposts near Kusra said that they saw Israel Defense Forces and Border Police officers shooting, and that none of the settlers fired weapons. They said the conflict began when Palestinians attacked a young man from one of the outposts who was walking in a field.

They say that after he called the regional IDF security coordinator for help, Palestinians came to the scene, setting off the fights.

The IDF announced it will investigate the use of live ammunition during the confrontation between settlers and Palestinian civilians.