Palestinian, Israeli Wounded Following West Bank Altercation

Conflict broke out near Palestinian village of Qusra, where a mosque was torched just under two weeks ago, amid growing tensions over planned Palestinian statehood bid at UN.

A violent West Bank altercation between settlers and Palestinians resulted in two people wounded on Friday, amid rising tensions ahead of a planned Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.

The incident occurred near the West Bank settlement of Shilo, as a group of settlers reportedly set out on a hike near the Palestinian village of Qusra when a conflict began with a few of the residents of the villages. It was not yet clear who started the incident.

West Bank village - Haggai Ofen - Jan. 26, 2010
Haggai Ofen

Initial reports claimed that one settler was lightly wounded as a result of a reported stabbing attack near the Ein Kodesh outpost, with one Palestinian seriously wounded after reportedly being shot by a member of the settler group.

According to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, village watchmen were able to grab hold of nine settlers who had entered the village.

The incident took place a little under two weeks after a mosque in the West Bank village, located south of Nablus, was set on fire, hours after Israeli police officers destroyed three illegal structures in the settlement outpost of Migron.

According to Palestinian sources, a group of settlers arrived at the village mosque at approximately 3 A.M., threw burning tires toward it, and broke several of its windows. The event is the latest in a series of clashes between settlers and Palestinians in the region.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack, stating that it is not the first of its kind to be carried out by settlers against mosques in the West Bank, and called on the Middle East Quartet to get involved.

In response to the attack, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a statement which strongly condemns the setting on fire and vandalizing of the Al-Nurayn mosque in Qusra in the West Bank on Monday."