TULMUS AYA (West Bank), June 22 (AP) Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed a Palestinian town in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, setting fire to dozens of cars and homes, To avenge the four Israelis previously killed by Palestinian gunmen. Residents say that to this day. Palestinians say one man was killed in the violence.
After nightfall, Israel carried out a rare airstrike on a car carrying a suspected Palestinian gunman in the West Bank. The drone attack, believed to be the first in the region in nearly 20 years, marks a major escalation in Israel’s more than year-long campaign against militants in the region. Palestinian media reported that three people were killed in the attack.
A day-long Israeli military attack on a militant stronghold this week killed seven people, including a 15-year-old girl, while Tuesday’s mass shooting, which included a A 17-year-old Israeli boy.
The settler atrocities on Wednesday came as the Israeli military deployed more troops in the occupied West Bank and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build 1,000 new settler homes in response to the deadly shooting .
Palestinian residents and human rights groups have long complained about Israel’s inability or refusal to stop settler violence. Residents of Tulms Aya said about 400 settlers marched along the town’s main road, setting fire to cars, houses and trees.
Mayor Lafi Adeeb said some 30 homes and 60 cars were partially or completely destroyed. At least eight Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, which the army tried to disperse by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.
A 27-year-old man, Omar Qatin, was killed by army fire, Palestinian medical officials said. Residents said Katyn was a father of two who worked as an electrician for the local municipality.
Israeli police said they were attacked by residents with stones and fireworks. A police officer thought his life was in danger and opened fire, hitting a “thug,” the report said. But Palestinian residents dispute that claim.
“He was just standing there innocent and innocent, what a kind kid he was. He had no rocks, was completely unarmed, and was at least half a mile (one kilometer) from the army,” said his neighbour, Khamis Jbara. )explain. “He works from 6am to 6pm. He’s a peaceful guy.”
Palestinian residents of the town, including many U.S. citizens, were outraged and shocked after the attack.
Broken flowerpots, uprooted trees, charred garden furniture and the wreckage of cars littered the streets. At least one house was completely gutted, with the living room blackened and furniture burned to ashes.
“It was horrific, we saw crowds of people in the street wearing masks and holding weapons,” said Mohammed Suleiman, a 56-year-old Palestinian-American who lives in Chicago and is returning home. ) explain.
Suleiman blamed the Israeli military, saying soldiers turned their guns on Palestinian residents rather than vandals walking into town with guns and Molotov cocktails, setting everything in their path on fire. The military is “really clearing the way for them,” he said.
Abdulkarim Abdulkarim, a 44-year-old Ohio resident, said his family’s four cars were burned and their home was damaged. “They call us terrorists, but terrorism here is supported by the government,” he said.
In the Chalabi family’s home, eight children took shelter on the third floor after they watched a group of masked settlers slash tires and throw fuel oil at three cars. Moments later, a massive fireball erupted in their front yard. At least one armed settler broke through the front door, vandalized the sunroom and broke windows.
“I kept thinking I was going to die,” said Mohammed Awwad, a 15-year-old U.S. citizen from Northern California who was visiting his grandparents. He was cleaning shards of glass from his feet while his family packed up valuables to take to an aunt’s house up the hill, fearing the settlers would return.
The small town of Turmus Ayya, with its luxurious villas with gardens and views over rolling olive groves, is a frequent target of settlers. Tayem Abu Awwad, whose old car was burned in another attack last week, said his brand new Toyota was charred in Wednesday’s attack.
The Israeli military said it had sent troops into the town “to put out fires, prevent clashes and collect evidence”.
The military condemned “these serious incidents of violence and destruction of property,” adding that settler violence made it impossible to carry out its “primary mission” of protecting the country’s security and fighting militants.
But later on Wednesday, in the further north town of Urif, an angry mob of about 100 settlers stormed through the town, throwing stones at Palestinian homes and Molotov cocktails at local schools, local Palestinian officials added. Ghassan Daghlas said. Palestinian residents said Israeli security forces fired live ammunition, stun grenades and tear gas at them as they tried to push back the settlers.
Just as the settlers were evacuating the town, an Israeli drone hit a Palestinian car near the militant stronghold in Jenin, turning the vehicle into a fireball.
The identities of those on board are not yet known. But the military said it “detected a terrorist group inside a suspicious vehicle” that has been responsible for multiple recent shootings at Jewish settlements.
Ismail Radwan, the leader of the Hamas militant group, called the drone attack a “dangerous development” and called for “the resistance movement in the West Bank to escalate the confrontation”.
The settler attack recalled a riot last February when a Palestinian gunman killed a pair of Israeli brothers and set fire to dozens of cars and homes in the town of Hawara.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtaye visited Turmus Aya to inspect the damage. Local criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s impotence in the face of settler attacks has intensified.
As he spoke, expressing solidarity with residents and calling for U.S. intervention — given the town’s high percentage of U.S. citizens — one resident yelled at him, demanding that authorities “do more to protect their people”.
Egypt and Jordan, two of the first Arab states to make peace with Israel, have condemned the settler violence and called for an immediate cessation of the attacks.
Netanyahu criticized settler violence, as well as unrelated protests by Druze Arabs in the Golan Heights, which turned violent.
“We will not accept any provocation against the police or security forces in these places or elsewhere,” he said. “We are a country with the rule of law.”
Tuesday’s shooting in the Eli settlement comes a day after seven Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israeli forces in Jenin. The worsening violence has put the Israeli government to the test and prompted calls for widespread military action in the West Bank.
As Israel deploys more troops to the area, Netanyahu said he had approved plans to build 1,000 new homes in Eli. “Our response to terrorism is to strike hard and build our country,” he said.
The international community opposes the Palestinians’ pursuit of settlements on occupied land in order to create a future independent state. Netanyahu’s far-right government is dominated by settler leaders and supporters.
In the 1967 Middle East War, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians seek these territories for a future independent state. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)