A Jewish settler was seriously wounded in the neck in a drive-by shooting Wednesday near the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Jewish settlers responded angrily to the attack. They said it was the third terrorist attack in the area since December 1993.
Noting that the attacks took place while the Israeli army still controlled the area, they warned of what could happen once the troops withdrew from Ramallah, a move called for under the terms of the recently signed accord for extending West Bank autonomy.
The accord allows for all Jewish settlements in the West Bank to remain in place. The Israeli army will maintain responsibility for the settlers’ security.
Israel is building bypass roads around the major West Bank Arab population centers in the West Bank to enable Jewish settlers and the Israel Defense Force to avoid driving through the Palestinian centers.
Regional Council Member Pinchas Wallerstein warned that he and other settlers would take the law into their own hands if they felt that they were not adequately protected by the army.
The incident occurred when Rabbi Uzi Navo, 32, drove out of the Kochav Ya’acov settlement, located east of Ramallah. Police said that at least two gunmen opened fire from a stolen U.N. car, shooting Navo several times in the upper body before driving away.
He was listed in serious but stable condition after undergoing surgery.
In a separate incident occurring near the settlement of Shiloh, located north of Ramallah, a Palestinian driver was injured when his car overturned, apparently going out of control after Jewish youths stoned it.
Meanwhile, an angry confrontation was reported between Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after Palestinian police blocked an Israeli bus carrying schoolchildren on their way to the settlement of Morag.
Israel Radio reported that the Palestinian police refused to let the bus pass through an intersection.
When the driver tried to drive through anyway, one of the police pointed his weapon at the bus. The driver summoned Israeli border police and troops to the scene.
A shoving match broke out between Israeli and Palestinian security forces.
A joint Israeli-Palestinian coordinating office is investigating the incident.