Thirteen Palestinians wounded in settler riot: medics
AFP - 39 minutes ago
HEBRON, West Bank, (AFP) - - At least 13 Palestinians were wounded overnight as more than 1,000 ultra-nationalist Israelis hurled rocks at residents, homes and police jeeps in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
The rioting broke out as rumours spread that security forces were set to evict 100 Jewish settlers from a house the Israeli high court has ordered evacuated.
Young settlers, backed by right-wing supporters hurled rocks for several hours at Palestinian homes and police vehicles.
At least 13 Palestinians were wounded and significant damage was caused to homes in Hebron, medics and witnesses said.
In the northern West Bank, dozens of settlers clashed with Palestinians and border police, and blocked roads in a show of support for the Israelis living in the controversial Hebron house.
The Israeli High Court on November 16 ordered the settlers to leave the Hebron house in which they have lived since March 2007, but security forces have not enforced the order to date.
The settlers insist they have bought the house, but the court said the sale was not completed, though it has not determined who owns the building.
The settlers have been involved in several clashes since the eviction order was issued, and have desecrated a mosque and a Muslim cemetery.
Meanwhile, the father of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, one of four Israelis killed in the attack on Mumbai's Chabad centre, asked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert not to order the evacuation of the controversial house during the mourning period so as "to maintain the unity of Israel."
With more than 170,000 Palestinian residents, Hebron is the largest city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank apart from annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
It has long been a flashpoint because of a settler enclave of around 600 hardline Jews in the heart of the city, and a further 6,500 settlers living in Kiryat Arba on the outskirts.
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Israeli soldiers stand near a burning Palestinian car in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron. At least 13 Palestinians were wounded overnight as more than 1,000 ultra-nationalist Israelis hurled rocks at residents, homes and police jeeps in Hebron
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