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article image10 Palestinians wounded as Israel hunts settlers' killers

By AFP     Oct 3, 2015 in World

Ten Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank on Saturday during a raid by troops hunting the murderers of a Jewish settler couple, Palestinian police and medical sources said.

Palestinians protesting against the raid in the territory's main northern city of Nablus hurled stones at soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition, the sources said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said "10 people were wounded by live rounds to the legs or stomach," and "four others were wounded in beatings" by security forces.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank since the settler couple were shot dead in their car in front of their four children on Thursday evening.

Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama, both in the 30s, were buried in Jerusalem on Friday.

Israel has launched a huge manhunt for the gunmen, and deployed troop reinforcements to maintain order following revenge attacks by settlers.

Palestinian police said Saturday's violence began when "dozens of Israeli soldiers in military vehicles" entered an eastern neighbourhood of Nablus, one of the largest cities in the West Bank.

"They arrested eight people and conducted searches, entering properties by force and causing damage," the police said.

A Palestinian demonstrator lays on his back after being reportedly shot in the leg by Israeli soldie...
A Palestinian demonstrator lays on his back after being reportedly shot in the leg by Israeli soldiers in a street, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on October 3, 2015
Jaafar Ashtiyeh, AFP

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the raid.

Apprehensive of rising tensions between settlers and Palestinians after Thursday's shooting, the Israeli army said it had deployed "four battalions in order to prevent an escalation of violence in the area adjacent to the location of the attack".

Meanwhile, sporadic clashes erupted between Palestinians and a dozen settlers on Saturday afternoon near Burin village outside Nablus.

Settlers from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar, which is known as a bastion of extremists, threw stones at the Palestinians who responded in the same way.

Israeli soldiers caught between both sides were seen firing tear gas in the direction of the Palestinians. No wounded were initially reported.

Palestinian news agency Wafa said a 35-year-old man was shot in the leg by settlers near Bethlehem, and police said settlers had stoned a number of cars and set fire to olive trees.

And in the Palestinian village of Beitillu, assailants torched a car and spray-painted "Revenge Henkin" in Hebrew on a wall, the army said, adding that nobody was hurt.

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