Israeli Soldier Wounded by West Bank Settlers Throwing Stones, Military Says

Incident comes after settlers throw stones at Palestinian farmers

A sign in the town of Huwara points to the settlement of Yitzhar.
Tomer Appelbaum

Some 30 West Bank settlers threw stones at soldiers and punctured their vehicle's tires, lightly wounding one, overnight Saturday next to the settlement of Yitzhar, according to the military.

Troops used riot control measures and fired weapons into the air, dispersing the crowd. No arrests were made. "The IDF vehemently condemns physical and verbal violence toward those serving in it and sees incidents of this type very seriously," the military said.  

During the past week the army arrested two settlers from the area. One was arrested following an assault on Rabbis for Human Rights activists who were assisting Palestinian farmers to harvest their olive trees. Another was arrested after settlers blocked the entrance to Yitzhar, opened the door of an army jeep and threatened the soldiers inside.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack saying "there will be no tolerance toward outlaws who will attack our soldiers." Benny Gantz also condemned the attack, saying he trusts law enforcment forces to handle the situation.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said it is "inconceivable that soldiers will be attacked by the people they are working day and night to protect," adding he has discussed the issue with the head of the Shin Bet Nadav Argaman.  

Earlier Saturday, Jewish settlers assaulted Palestinian farmers, wounding three, at an olive grove near the village of Burin in the West Bank, according to witnesses and the Red Crescent. The army said that eight settlers threw stones at Palestinian farmers on Palestinian agricultural land near Burin, wounding one. The army also added that there were no arrests, as the settlers managed to flee.