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The scuffle began at around 10:30 P.M., while some 30 Israelis were demonstrating at the Doar Junction that leads to the settlements of Dolev and Talmon. The settlers were protesting the deteriorating security situation on that particular road, where Palestinians have lately been hurling rocks and firebombs at passing Israeli vehicles.
When the Israeli demonstrators blocked access to the nearby village of Ras A-Karkar, about 100 Palestinians came out and clashed with them. Demonstrators from both sides hurled rocks at each other, and the settlers claim that Palestinians struck them with sticks.
Two settlers were wounded in the head, one of them moderately and the other lightly. They were both evacuated to the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. The condition of the moderately wounded person deteriorated during the night and he needed surgery.
Israel Defense Forces troops were deployed at the scene, and fired rubber bullets to disperse the Palestinians. One Palestinian was moderately wounded in the eye. He was taken to a hospital in Ramallah and then transferred to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
A resident of Ras A-Karkar told Haaretz that a group of settlers entered the Ein Ayoub area of the village overnight, vandalized homes and attempted to torch the adjacent fields. The villagers came out and chased them away, said the Palestinian witness.
Meanwhile, a report released by the Shin Bet security service showed an increase in the number of terror attacks in April compared to March. Some of the hike came from an increase in the number of rockets and mortars fired at Israel’s south, a total of 22 launches last month.
According to the Shin Bet count, 17 rockets were fired at Israel last month, including two fired at Eilat, as well as five mortar rounds. In March 14 rockets were fired at the south, all during U.S. President Barak Obama’s visit in late March.
According to Shin Bet data issued yesterday, since Operation Pillar of Defense in November, 39 rockets and mortars have been fired at the south of Israel, including the rockets fired at Eilat. In its summary of violence in the south, the Shin Bet also cited light weapons fire from the Gaza Strip and a bomb that exploded on April 9 near an IDF bulldozer working along the border.
It should be noted that on the last day of April, the Israel Air Force conducted its first targeted killing in Gaza in five months, hitting Hitham Meshal, who was involved in the Eilat rocket fire and was considered an expert rocket maker.
The Shin Bet also wrote that there had been an increase in the number of attacks in Jerusalem − 36, compared to 21 in March. Most of these were firebomb and bombing attacks.
The report stated that there had been a mild drop in the number of attacks in the West Bank during April − 90 attacks, compared to 101 in March. Here, too, most of the attacks were firebombing attempts and the planting of roadside charges.
On April 30, however, Eviatar Borovzky, a resident of Yitzhar, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian at the Tapuah junction, the first terror death in the West Bank since September 2011.