News / Middle East

Israeli Settlers Riot in Palestinian Village

David Dyar

Ultranationalist Israeli settlers have rioted in a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, in retaliation for Israeli authorities restricting settlement construction in the territory.

Jewish residents of the radical Yitzhar settlement marched into the neighboring Palestinian village of Hawara Thursday and threw stones at several homes, shattering their windows.  The settlers also tried to set fire to a Palestinian field.  Israeli police detained four of the rioters.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli troops detained several other settlers in Yitzhar on suspicion of involvement in recent acts of vandalism against Palestinian property.

Israeli civilian inspectors also entered Yitzhar to enforce an Israeli government order that temporarily freezes new construction in West Bank settlements.

The inspectors tried to confiscate a bulldozer used in a construction project they said violates the freeze.  The settlers said the construction had official Israeli authorization.

Ultranationalist Jews have staged repeated violent protests targeting Palestinians as part of a policy of extracting what they call a "price tag" for Israeli government actions against settlers.

Israel's government began enforcing a 10-month freeze in new housing starts in West Bank settlements last November as a gesture toward Palestinians to restart peace talks.  Palestinians view the settlements as an obstacle to creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

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