An Arab terrorist stabbed a nine-year-old Jewish boy at the Shalhevet neighborhood in Yitzhar in Samaria on the Sabbath, torched an empty house and tried to set fire to a second building. The terrorist threw the boy four meters down off of an outdoor porch, into an area filled with construction material - yet he landed on the only bush in the area.  He was treated in a nearby hospital and was said to be in light condition.

Dozens of residents of Yitzhar retaliated and attacked the adjacent Arab village of Asira al-Kabaliya, where it is suspected the terrorist resides. Villagers claimed that the Jews rioted in the village, destroyed houses, overturned vehicles and shot at least two Arabs. 

Arabs threw rocks and stones at the Jews until IDF soldiers arrived, broke up the riots and slapped a curfew on the village. The troops arrested one suspect in the stabbing.   

A relatively unknown terrorist group calling itself Ahrar Al-Jalil (Freedom for the Galilee) Brigades claimed responsibility for the arson and attack on the boy. The same group claimed it was behind two bulldozer and backhoe attacks in Jerusalem earlier this year in which three people were killed and several were wounded.

Other Attacks

Elsewhere in Judea and Samaria, Arab stone throwers hurled rocks at Jewish motorists in the eastern Gush Etzion town of Tekoa, hitting at least one tour bus and lightly injuring two passengers. Soldiers responded by shooting in the air, and said they were not aware of any injuries to the Arab attackers.

Later, Arabs claimed that the soldiers in the area shot and killed a 16-year-old youth who was among a group that attacked soldiers with stones.  The IDF denied there was any such incident. 

On Friday, soldiers shot in the air to disperse rioting Arabs in Hevron.  The soldiers had arrested two Palestinian Authority (PA) policemen who broke an agreement not to enter the Jewish areas of Hevron.

In addition, soldiers also clashed with more than 100 Arab who rioted in the Arab village of Naalin, near the separation barrier, which sustained damage.

Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi called the Jews from Yitzhar "two-legged animals," and MK Zahava Gal'on (Meretz) demanded th

at Defense Minister Ehud Barak take action against the "violent settlers who are rioting and hurting Palestinians." 

The radical left-wing Peace Now group called on Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) to take away the right to bear arms from the Yitzhar residents who opened fire.

However, Danny Dayan, leader of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, accused the critics of "dancing on the blood" of the boy, whose attack was not condemned by the pro-Arab Jewish groups.  Dayan condemned violence "of any kind."

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