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Settler rampage forces Palestinian school lockdown

October 9, 2013

JALOUD, West Bank (AP) — Masked Jewish settlers burst into a school Wednesday, vandalizing cars and torching olive trees during a rampage that forced schoolchildren to remain locked in classrooms to keep safe, residents of a Palestinian village in the West Bank said.

Fawzi Ali, a teacher at the school in Jaloud, said the settlers entered the village and began throwing stones. He said teachers locked classroom doors to protect the school’s 175 students as the doors were pelted.

The settlers smashed the windshields of several cars outside, and then lit a fire that burned through a nearby olive grove.

Jaloud is located next to a hard-line Jewish settlement outpost whose residents have clashed with local Palestinians in the past.

The Israeli military said its forces, responding to complaints in the area, discovered the school had been damaged along with seven vehicles. A soldier present at the scene was wounded by a stone. The military said it arrested four settlers as suspects.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the army “frowns upon such grave actions, which destabilize the region and deviate security forces attention from their main mission — combatting terror.”

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