Villagers hurt in West Bank clash
At least eight Palestinian have been injured in clashes near an Israeli settlement
Palestinians say the clashes broke out after armed Israeli settlers from Beit Ayin attacked homes in Beit Safa, a nearby Palestinian village.
Israeli forces say they fired live bullets at the legs of stone-throwers.
A hospital in the West Bank town of Hebron said one Palestinian was seriously injured and another three were moderately hurt.
Doctors said one of the injured was hit in the neck with a live round.
The Israeli military said Palestinians had begun throwing stones at settlers from Bat Ayin in the southern West Bank, who had gone to a hilltop to say a special sun blessing prayer in an event which occurs once every 28 years.
Palestinian residents of Beit Safa said a group of settlers, some armed, had entered their village and begun throwing rocks at homes and damaging cars.
They said Israeli forces had arrived and used tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition to end the disturbance.
An Israeli military spokesperson said "crowd dispersing means" were used initially, but when the crowd became more violent, troop used live ammunition to target the lower body parts of some people in the crowd, and "identified hits".
In 2002, three residents of the settlement were given long jail terms for trying to blow up a Palestinian girls' school in Jerusalem.
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.
The violence comes amid concerns over a clash of opinion between the new Israeli government, led by right-winger Binyamin Netanyahu, and Barack Obama's US administration.
Mr Obama has stressed his commitment to a two-state solution, but Mr Netanyahu does not back the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.
His Foreign Minister, far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman, said on Tuesday that peace talks with the Palestinians had reached a "dead end".
2 days ago