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Palestinians beat, detain Jewish settlers in West Bank

By AFP - Jan 07,2014 - Last updated at Jan 07,2014

QUSRA, Palestinian Territories –– Palestinians beat and detained several Israeli settlers who had sparked clashes after entering Qusra village near the West Bank city of Nablus Tuesday, sources on both sides said.

At one point, Israeli soldiers were negotiating the release of some 13 settlers from a house in the village where they were being held, an AFP correspondent said.

Palestinian security sources told AFP the settlers were eventually released and handed over to the Israeli army.

Village council head Abdul Azim Wadi confirmed the incident but said only eight settlers were detained.

The Israeli army said it had “vacated” 11 Israelis from a building in Jalud, a village adjacent to Qusra, “with light-moderate injuries, following a confrontation which erupted earlier today between them and Palestinians”.

“During the confrontation mutual rock-hurling took place, injuring some of the Israelis,” the army said in a statement.

“Initial inquiry suggests the confrontation erupted following a law enforcement activity which took place earlier today in Esh Kodesh.”

Esh Kodesh is a nearby settlement outpost, where military radio said the army had earlier uprooted an olive grove settlers had illegally planted.

A group of settlers then entered Qusra to provoke a clash.

However, an Israeli wounded in the event, told army radio that Palestinians had attacked a group of settlers who were hiking in the area and had not provoked an attack.

The area south of Nablus, in the northern West Bank, is the scene of frequent clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers from nearby settlements.

Some 350,000 Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank, in addition to another 200,000 Israelis settled in occupied and annexed East Jerusalem.

The international community considers the colonisation of occupied land to be illegal, and the Palestinians have long viewed settlement construction as a key obstacle to reaching a peace agreement.

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