As an outbreak of violence continues since early this week in the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian school in the village Urif in Nablus governorate and attempted to torch homes and a mosque Thursday. The violence is surging just as senior US official Barbara Leaf is visiting Israel and Palestinian territories to manage the situation.
A Palestinian Authority official said in a press statement on Wednesday that Israeli settlers in the West Bank conducted 310 attacks against Palestinians and their properties since Tuesday. Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority’s head of settlement monitoring for the northern West Bank, added that the number is expected to increase as more attacks are reported.
In a press statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Education condemned the Urif incident as a “barbaric attack” against an education institution and “a crime that reveals systematic occupation terrorism and reflects the ugliness of the settlers and their continuous crimes against defenseless civilians.” According to local residents, the settlers came from the Yitzhar settlement.
Thursday’s attack came only hours after violent clashes erupted between Israeli forces and settlers and residents of Urif on Wednesday night. The Israeli army said its forces entered the village to make arrests after two Palestinians from Urif killed four Israelis and injured four others in a shooting attack Tuesday afternoon near the West Bank settlement of Eli.