Palestinians: Israeli settlers torch cars in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israeli settlers attacked five villages in the occupied West Bank overnight, torching vehicles and olive trees, and leaving graffiti on the walls of homes, Palestinian officials said Friday.

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Ghassan Daghlas, a spokesman for the Nablus governorate, said the Jewish settlers set fire to five cars and spray-painted graffiti on more than 20 others. Villagers circulated photos of the damage on social media.

Israeli police say they are investigating the reports and that police and military units will visit the area.

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War. The Palestinians claim the West Bank as part of their future state.

Hard-line settlers have been known to carry out “price tag” attacks in response to Palestinian militant attacks or perceived efforts by Israeli authorities to limit settlement expansion. It was unclear what sparked the latest attack.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Palestinian health authorities said a man died of wounds he sustained in an Israeli airstrike earlier this month that killed eight members of his family. The Gaza Health Ministry identified the man as 40-year-old Mohammed Abu Malhous.

Those killed in the airstrike included two women and five children under the age of 13.

Israel’s military said it was targeting “Islamic Jihad military infrastructure” and did not expect civilians to be present. It said an investigation is underway.

The airstrike came during two days of fighting ignited by Israel’s targeted killing of a commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group. The fighting killed 35 Palestinians and more than 450 rockets were fired into Israel.