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10 Palestinians wounded as Israel hunts settlers' killers

Palestinian demonstrators lay on the ground after being reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers in a street, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on October 3, 2015, during a search for the suspected killers of a Jewish settler couple. [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian demonstrators lay on the ground after being reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers in a street, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on October 3, 2015, during a search for the suspected killers of a Jewish settler couple. [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Ten Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank on Saturday during a raid by troops hunting the murderers of a Jewish settler couple, Palestinian police and medical sources said.

Palestinians protesting against the raid in the territory's main northern city of Nablus hurled stones at soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition, the sources said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said "10 people were wounded by live rounds to the legs or stomach," and "four others were wounded in beatings" by security forces.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank since the settler couple were shot dead in their car in front of their four children on Thursday evening. Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama, both in the 30s, were buried in Jerusalem on Friday.

Israel has launched a huge manhunt for the gunmen, and deployed troop reinforcements to maintain order following revenge attacks by settlers.

Palestinian police said Saturday's violence began when "dozens of Israeli soldiers in military vehicles" entered an eastern neighbourhood of Nablus, one of the largest cities in the West Bank. Palestinian sources claim there were at least 50 settler families who took part in the aggression to seize Palestinian land.

"They arrested eight people and conducted searches, entering properties by force and causing damage," the police said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the raid.

Apprehensive of rising tensions between settlers and Palestinians after Thursday's shooting, the Israeli army said it had deployed "four battalions in order to prevent an escalation of violence in the area adjacent to the location of the attack". Palestinian news agency Wafa said a 35-year-old man was shot in the leg by settlers near Bethlehem, and police said settlers had stoned a number of cars and set fire to olive trees.

And in the Palestinian village of Beitillu, assailants torched a car and spray-painted "Revenge Henkin" in Hebrew on a wall, the army said, adding that nobody was hurt.

Report by AFP.

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