January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian elderly man was seriously injured when Israeli army dispersed villagers clashing with Jewish settlers in the West Bank Thursday, witnesses said.

The Israeli army fired tear gas and rubber bullets towards Palestinians near the northern city of Nablus and a gunshot has wounded a Palestinian seriously, the witnesses told Xinhua.

The clashes followed the settlers' attack on an agricultural land in Qussra village. The witnesses said that the settlers set fire to crops and threw rocks at the villagers, who responded also with throwing stones.

On Wednesday, the Israeli authorities dismantled makeshift structures that settlers erected on the village's land, saying the new building was illegal. Angry settlers, protesting the removal of the settlement, also clashed with the Palestinian villagers.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which controls the West Bank, withdrew from U.S.-brokered negotiations when Israel resumed building settlements in the West Bank.

The PNA says it cannot negotiate with Israel before it restores moratorium on settlement activities. Israel allowed the 10-month moratorium to expire on Sept. 26.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army arrested eight Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, part of continued, almost daily raids. The Israeli army says the raids target wanted activists.


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