Israeli sources reported Tuesday that a group of extremist Israeli settlers of the Hilltop Youth settler movement infiltrated, on Monday at night, an Israeli military base near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, sabotaged property and vehicles, and hurled stones at the soldiers, wounding a senior officer.The sources stated that Lieutenant Ran Kahana was mildly wounded after being hit in the head by a stone hurled by one of the settlers. The army chased the infiltrators but did not make any arrests.
The settlers also blocked a main road in the area and hurled stones at Palestinian cars causing damage to a number of vehicles.
Israeli media sources stated that the attacks seem to be motivated by Israeli intentions to dismantle some random settlement outposts in the West Bank by March of next year.
An Israeli Army spokesperson stated that approximately 100 settlers arrived in the area and starting throwing rocks at Palestinian vehicles, in addition to throwing rocks at Israel military vehicles before burning tires near the military base.
The spokesperson added that approximately 50 settlers infiltrated into the military base and started throwing stones at military vehicles in addition to throwing nails inside the base and on the road that leads to it.
An extremist settler with the “Hilltop Youth” movement held Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, responsible for the escalation, and claimed that Barak “discriminates against the settlers and their settlements.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued orders to the army to act in a decisive manner against the settlers who attacked the base.
Several Israeli leaders, including some leaders of the Yesha Council of Settlements condemned the attack against the base.
In related news, the Israeli Police apprehended 17 extremist settlers who barricaded themselves, on Monday, at the site of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.
They settlers hung banners with photos of the right-wing Jewish leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who called for the ‘Jewish state to expand beyond the Jordan river into the state of Jordan and all the way to Iraq.”
According to Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth, the settlers entered a closed military zone behind the border fence with Jordan, and barracked themselves in the site, very close to where Jordanian soldiers are stationed.
The site, 10 kilometers away from the West Bank city of Jericho, is one the most sacred sites for Christians after the Nativity Church in Bethlehem and the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.