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Israeli Settlers Throw Rocks At US Officials On West Bank Tour

02/01/2015 17:05 GMT | Updated 02/01/2015 17:59 GMT
HAZEM BADER via Getty Images
Israeli settlers throw stones at journalists and Palestinians near the Jewish settlement of Kharsina, north of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on October 31, 2008. Agence France-Presse photographer Hazem Bader suffered head injuries today when settlers hurled rocks at journalists near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, witnesses said. In hospital Bader received eigth stitches and will stay overnight. He was among a group of journalists who had gone to the house of a Palestinian that was damaged by settlers after Israeli security forces dismantled a nearby illegal Jewish outpost. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewish settlers attacked American consular officials Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank to investigate claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, Israeli police say.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the settlers threw rocks at the officials who had come to the area near the Jewish settlement of Adi Ad in two consular vehicles to look into Palestinian claims that settlers uprooted scores of Palestinian olive trees the day before.

He said that after the rock barrage began, accompanying American security personnel ordered the consular officials back into their vehicles — which were also pelted with rocks.

The vehicles then left the area, Rosenfeld said, adding that police had opened an inquiry following the filing of an official complaint.

The officials were touring the outpost northeast of Ramallah accompanied by Palestinians from the nearby village of Turmus Ayya, according to The Times Of Israel.

Another police official, spokeswoman Luba Samri, said that the American security personnel did not use their weapons during the attack on the American officials.

The American Consulate General in Jerusalem had no immediate comment.

Settlers have often spoken against what they call foreign interference in their affairs, but this is the first known physical attack against diplomatic personnel.

The United States is by far Israel's most important foreign ally, providing the country with some $3 billion in annual aid and supporting its positions in international forums, despite frequent criticism.