Violence Flares in West Bank on Anniversary of Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre

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In a day of violence in the West Bank Monday, an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian man were injured and incidents of unrest and property damage were widespread.

The Israel Defense Forces solider was hit in the face by a marble fired from a slingshot near the al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron and taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem for treatment. Soldiers returned fire and hit a Palestinian man in the leg; he was also taken to a hospital. Other incidents involving stone and firebomb throwing took place in Police Square and on Shalala Street in Hebron and on the Halhul Bridge nearby.

Tensions have been on the rise in Hebron in advance of Monday's 19th anniversary of the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre – when Jewish doctor and national religious settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinians praying at the local Ibrahim Mosque, killing 29 and wounding 125.

Palestinians also threw stones on Highway 446 in west Ramallah, damaging vehicles but causing no causalities.

A Jewish-owned vineyard near the Esh Kodesh outpost on the Israeli side of the security barrier was discovered to have been vandalized in the morning. 2,000 vines, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, were destroyed on the 8-dunam plot of land. In the nearby village of Mugheir, 20 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were destroyed.

The Jewish outposts of the Shilo bloc and the neighboring Palestinian villages of Qusra, Jalud and al-Mughayyir have a hostile relationship, often engaging in tit-for-tat property destruction.

In the Palestinian village of Yusuf near Nablus, three vehicles were found with their tires punctured. The slogan, "Price tag for stone terror," was found spray-painted on trees near the scene. IDF soldiers had entered the village during the night and arrested a Palestinian man in possession of a hunting rival, but failed to detect the settlers.

The Cave of the Patriachs in Hebron.Credit: Hagai Ofen

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