JERUSALEM (JTA) — Several Jewish residents of a West Bank outpost were turned over to the Israeli military after being held and beaten by Palestinians who said they were trespassing.
The Israel Defense Forces negotiated the return of from eight to 13 settlers from Esh Kodesh after their capture on Tuesday morning, according to reports. The Palestinians from the village of Qusr said the settlers were on their land in order to uproot olive trees.
The Jewish settlers reportedly were surrounded by Palestinians who held them in a home under construction for several hours, during which time the Palestinians allegedly beat them. The Palestinians also accused the settlers of throwing rocks and attacking a Palestinian youth.
The outpost residents allegedly approached Qusr, which is located near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, in order to carry out a “price tag” attack in response to the uprooting Tuesday morning of an olive grove planted by Jews near the outpost. The Israeli Civil Administration uprooted the grove since it was planted on Palestinian land.
The settlers said they were on a hike with no bad intentions.
“Price tag” refers to the strategy that extremist settlers and their supporters have adopted to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.