In what appears to have been a coordinated attack on Jews from Yitzhar, in Samaria, a group of Arabs set fire to agricultural fields on Monday evening and then released a barrage of rocks at people responding to the arson. IDF forces responded to the incident and dispersed the attackers.
Yitzhar residents said Arabs from the neighboring village of Assira al-Kabaliyeh set fire to agricultural land belonging to the Jewish community. When people from Yitzhar went out to the fields to try and put out the flames, they came under a rain of rocks thrown by a gathered group of Arabs.
A 17-year-old Jewish youth was hit in the eye by a rock thrown by one of the attackers. He was hit as he attempted to stop the flames from spreading in the Shalhevet Yah neighborhood on the outskirts of Yitzhar. The youth was taken by ambulance to the Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva with light head injuries.
Not prepared to withdraw, Yitzhar residents responded to the provocation and a confrontation ensued. However, even after the initial fire was extinguished by Yitzhar residents, the clash continued.
Responding to reports of the violence, IDF forces were dispatched to the scene. The soldiers employed riot control measures to break up the Arab mob and end the confrontation.
According to eyewitness reports, some of the Arabs continued to throw rocks and set fire to other sections of the Yitzhar fields as they withdrew. There were no injuries reported among the soldiers.
Yitzhar, a Jewish community about eight kilometers southwest of Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, has been the scene of repeated clashes between Arabs and Jews claiming rights to the community’s land. Founded in 1983 on a strategic hilltop, Yitzhar is home to about 500 people.