Israeli settlers clash with Palestinians in flashpoint West Bank town

HUWARA (Reuters): Israeli settlers and Palestinians clashed overnight on Monday near the West Bank village of Hawara, the scene of a violent rampage last week by dozens of settlers seeking revenge for the shooting of two Israeli brothers.

Hawara, a Palestinian village near a major road checkpoint, has become the latest flashpoint between Israelis and Palestinians after months of worsening violence in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli army and border police forces dispersed crowds of what the military described as “a number of violent riots” near Hawara overnight and videos shared on social media showed a group of black-clad youths attacking a Palestinian car before its driver manages to pull away.

Other footage appeared to show Israeli soldiers dancing together with Jewish settlers in the town on what was the Jewish festival of Purim. “Hawara has been conquered, gentlemen!,” a voice is heard saying in Hebrew.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken overnight reiterated calls for both sides to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank, where Israeli forces have killed more than 65 Palestinians, including militant fighters and civilians, this year.

In the same period, Palestinians have killed 13 Israelis and one Ukrainian woman in a series of apparently uncoordinated attacks by individuals.