Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian protester during clashes following a raid in the Bethlehem area on February 6, 2020. (Photo by AFP)
Armed Israeli settlers have attacked a farmland in the occupied West Bank, leaving two young men wounded in the latest act of violence against Palestinians.
Palestinian media reports said the settlers attacked Palestinians in the area of Khillat Hassan which is threatened with takeover, in the town of Biddya, injuring two young men on Sunday afternoon.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said two Palestinians with gunshot wounds were hospitalized, describing their injuries as "moderate".
Speaking to the Times of Israel, Iyad Abid, a member of the Biddya Emergency Committee, identified the two injured people as Mohannad al-Sadiq and Daoud Salameh (Abu Karim) from Biddya.
"The settlers say that the land is theirs, and they want to take it by force. But it belongs to private individuals in Biddya," he added.
According to Abid, the town witnessed a protest against attempts by settlers to take it over on Friday.
He also denied Israeli claims that 100 Arabs had attacked Israeli farmers, saying the two injured were the only ones present on their land. "They shot and fled," Abid said, referring to the settlers.
According to human rights groups, incidents of sabotage and violence by extremist settlers against Palestinians and their property are a daily occurrence throughout the West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
The latest attack came a day after Israeli settlers injured dozens of Palestinians in various attacks across the West Bank.
The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli settlers stormed areas near the town of Sila at noon on Saturday under the protection of the Israeli army.
It added that clashes also erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces after the troops stormed the village of Zabouba, west of Jenin, on Saturday night.
The Palestine Chronicle reported that Israeli forces injured dozens of Palestinians who protested the raid, adding that a 17-year-old teenager was also arrested.
Also on Saturday, Israeli settlers set fire to olive trees in the town of Hawara, south of Nablus, said Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank.
The heightened violence comes amid Israelís plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had set July 1 as the date for the start of cabinet discussions on the annexation plan.
Israel, however, failed to launch the scheme on the set date amid openly expressed differences between Netanyahu and key members of his cabinet, whose consent the White House says is needed for the annexation to go ahead.
SOURCE: PRESS TV