U.S. diplomats attacked by stone-throwing Israeli settlers

Gabe Friedman

(JTA) — Jewish settlers stoned the cars of U.S. diplomats investigating vandalism to Palestinian-owned olive groves in the West Bank.

The convoy of U.S. consular officials was attacked Friday as it approached Adi Ad, an Israeli settlement. U.S. security guards exited the cars after the rocks were thrown and pointed their guns at the Israeli settlers, according to The Times of Israel. But an Israeli police spokeswoman told Reuters that the U.S. delegation did not draw their weapons, though they also did not coordinate their investigation with local Israeli officials. The U.S. Embassy declined to comment.

No one was injured in the incident.

U.S. officials reportedly were looking for examples of vandalism after residents of the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya claimed Israeli settlers had destroyed thousands of olive tree saplings in recent weeks.

According to the United Nations, last year Israeli settlers damaged almost 11,000 olive trees owned by Palestinians in the West Bank.