Are we at the dawn of a third Intifada? Palestinians hurled a makeshift explosive device at IDF soldiers near Rachel\’s Tomb in the West Bank on Thursday, while others threw stones from neighboring Bethlehem. The device, however, landed in a Palestinian-controlled area and failed to cause damage or injury.
A few months ago it seemed that the number of rock-throwing incidents had dramatically declined, but violence in the West Bank has rapidly escalated since Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, with settlers finding themselves constantly under threat, specifically on the main Hebron-Gush Etzion road.
Near the Harasha outpost in the Binyamin region, the vehicle of a civilian security officer was stoned by a group of rioting Palestinians, IDF forces employed crowd-control equipment in an effort to quell the unrest. .
At Givat Hashkediya, an outpost near Yitzhar, Palestinians stoned IDF forces attempting to disperse them, while additional clashes between settlers and Palestinians were also reported in the area.
Near the outpost Esh Kadosh, also in the Benyamin region, riots raged for the second consecutive day, with dozens of Palestinians throwing stones for several hours while IDF forces attempted to disperse them with riot control gear.
Additionally, stones were thrown at a bus and a number of Israeli vehicles throughout the West Bank and a few incidents of Molotov cocktails being thrown at Israeli cars were also reported. As a result of the ongoing hostilities, two Palestinians were arrested.
Also on Thursday, an indictment was filed against three Jewish youths from West Bank settlements charging them with a price tag attack three weeks ago, near the southern part of Mount Hebron.
According to the indictment the three, aged 20 to 23, from the settlements of Yakir, Yitzhar and Beit El, entered the Palestinian village of al-Asja and set a number of cars ablaze. The three then continued to spray paint the words "price tag" on a nearby wall. Among other things, they are being charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and arson.