Israeli military base attacked by Jewish extremists in West Bank

The Guardian reports: A gang of 50 Jewish settlers and rightwing activists have broken into an army base near the Israeli settlement of Kedumim in the West bank, setting fire to tyres and hurling rocks at both Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.

One settler forced open the door of a jeep carrying the Efraim Regional Brigade’s commander, who was hit in the head with a rock and suffered minor injuries. Soldiers managed to force the group back outside the base after several minutes but by the time Israeli police arrived at the scene, most of the attackers had fled. Only two were arrested.

The attack is the latest in a wave of violent retributions exacted by extremist Jewish settler groups against Palestinians and the Israeli Defence Forces in response to government policy to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank. A spokesperson for the Israeli military said it was the most serious assault on its forces by Jewish activists to date.

Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, described the incident as “homegrown terror”, which he warned would not be tolerated. “We will capture those responsible and they will stand trial,” he vowed. “They endangered lives and their actions threaten to damage the delicate relations Israel has with its neighbours.”

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