HUWARA: Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Monday counted the cost of deadly violence and arson by Israeli settlers targeting a town where two Israeli brothers were killed.

Dozens of Israeli settlers set homes and cars ablaze in the northern town of Huwara overnight Sunday, after a day of Israeli-Palestinian talks in neighbouring Jordan aimed at quelling a surge of violence in the Palestinian territory.

More than 350 Palestinians were injured, most suffering from tear gas inhalation, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said.

The Palestinian health ministry said Sameh Aqtash, 37, was shot dead during an attack by settlers on the nearby village of Zaatara.

The violence came hours after two Israeli settlers — brothers Yagel Yaniv, 20, and Hallel Yaniv, 22 — were shot dead as they drove through Huwara.

On Monday, an AFP photographer saw damaged homes blackened by fire, long lines of charred cars, burned trees and smashed windows in the town.

“They burned the cars and the houses and destroyed everything,” Huwara resident Diaa Odeh said.

“Whenever we started to push the settlers back, the army was firing tear gas at us,” added the 25-year-old.

Wajeh Odeh, a member of the town’s municipality, said 30 houses were burned and damaged, with more than 100 cars torched.

An Israeli military official said 300 to 400 people went to the area for “revenge” and described the violence as “actions of terror”, without elaborating.

“(We are) trying to de-escalate and keep the two sides apart in this very, very hard situation that we are in,” the official told journalists.

Abdel Moneim Aqtash said he and his brother were standing outside a blacksmith’s workshop when Israeli settlers attacked them.

“They left the area and then came back with the occupation (Israeli) army... The army shot my brother, not the settlers,” he told AFP. The military told AFP that Aqtash “was not shot by an Israeli soldier”.


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