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Palestinian critically injured as new clashes erupt near West Bank's Qusra

The IDF has declared a closed military zone for operational purposes near the "Migdalim" settlement

A Palestinian youth was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday during ongoing clashes with right-wing settler activists and dozens of Palestinians throwing stones at them near the West Bank village of Qusra, Palestinian media outlets reported.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement that around fifty Palestinians were involved in the melee, throwing stones and burning tires.

IDF forces, the Border Police, and the Israel Police were working to disperse the crowd in the area near the "Migdalim" settlement that was declared a closed military zone.

Monday's skirmish comes after last Thursday's incident in which an armed escort of a settler youth tour group shot dead one of a group stone-throwing Palestinians.

Upon investigating, the authorities found that Palestinians were first to attack but also said that the group had failed to coordinate the trip with them as generally required by protocol.

This is the second time since last week's incident that the settlers have returned to the area in apparent protest of the army's announcement that future tour groups must obtain prior approval for their trips.

A spokespersons for the settlers responded forcefully last week, saying the army “was throwing sand in the eyes of the public”, denying any need to coordinate trips in Area C, which is under full Israeli control.

"We aren’t afraid and we don’t need permission to tour the land of Israel," said a message publicized by Otzma Yehudit, according to Ynet. "In response to the children's lynching near Qusra, and the IDF Spokesperson's announcement that all hikes in Judea and Samaria require authorization, we will are arranging a hike tomorrow (Monday) to the cave in which the children hid. We will update the military but we will not ask for permission. We are mindful of the army's failings during the incident. We will demonstrate a Jewish presence at the site and we will let everyone know that the area will become a preferred destination for trips."

The spokesperson, nevertheless, added that the trip had been coordinated and an email had been sent to the IDF regional headquarters.


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