Settlers stone Palestinian car in West Bank

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The Independent Online

Jewish settlers threw stones at a Palestinian car in the West Bank today, causing injuries, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said.

Medics said two men were taken to hospital, one with a fractured skull, and four others were treated for minor injuries after the early morning incident between the Palestinian city of Nablus and the nearby Jewish settlement of Kedumim.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he was not aware of casualties among Palestinians. He said an Israeli Arab motorist was slightly hurt after settlers stoned his car. Police were searching for the assailants.

Tensions run high between Palestinians and settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where some 500,000 Israelis live among nearly 3 million Palestinians.

Israeli police regularly report Palestinians throwing stones and petrol bombs at Israeli-registered vehicles in the West Bank. One motorist was shot dead last year. Attacks by settlers on Palestinians are less frequently recorded.

Settlers have warned that they will not accept Israeli government plans to evict small groups from unauthorised outposts.

Those plans have been announced as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is resisting calls from US President Barack Obama to freeze building activity in all settlements, part of Washington's efforts to relaunch a peace process.