Palestinians wounded as Israeli forces protect settler raid in West Bank

Palestinians wounded as Israeli forces protect settler raid in West Bank
Israeli forces raided the town of Awarta late on Tuesday shortly before Israeli settlers stormed Muslim shrines in the area.
2 min read
25 January, 2023
Journalist Mohammed Turkman said young Palestinians confronted the Israeli forces present and that some of the youths were left struggling to breathe due to tear gas [Joel Carillet/Getty-file photo]

Several Palestinians were wounded on Wednesday as Israeli forces protected illegal settlers who were storming Muslim shrines close to the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli troops raided Awarta late on Tuesday ahead of the settlers' storming of the shrines, which they claim are Jewish.

The settlers worshipped there and chanted racist slogans against Muslims and insulted the Prophet Muhammad, journalist Mohammed Turkman told The New Arab's Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Local youth were targeted with tear gas as they confronted the Israeli raiders.

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Israeli forces shot tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets in the direction of journalists with one media worker left with injuries and a damaged camera.

Several journalists were detained and prevented from leaving Awarta until the settlers had withdrawn from the area, Turkman said.

Palestinian Red Crescent official Ahmed Jibril said ambulance crews treated four people who were suffering from the effects of tear gas.

It comes as a number of Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday, including five from Jerusalem.

Israeli settlers regularly storm Muslim religious sites in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, often under the protection of security forces.

Earlier this month, far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir raided the compound, the third-holiest place in Islam, sparking international backlash.

Palestinians are concerned Israel will attempt to split Al-Aqsa, the most-sacred Islamic site in Palestine, between Muslims and Jews in terms of space and time available for use breaking the current status quo arrangement.