Masked Israeli settlers burst into a Palestinian school Wednesday, vandalizing cars and torching nearby olive trees in what appeared to be a "price-tag" attack to avenge the razing of a nearby illegal settler outpost earlier in the day by security forces. Schoolchildren were forced to remain locked in classrooms to keep safe, residents of the Palestinian village of Jaloud said.
Fawzi Ali, a teacher at the school, said the settlers entered the village and began throwing stones. He said teachers locked classroom doors to protect the school's 175 students as the doors were pelted.
The attackers smashed the windshields of several cars outside, and then lit a fire that burned through a nearby olive grove. Palestinian witnesses said that over 400 olive trees were burned and five cars were vandalized.
Jaloud is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the Palestinian city of Nablus, and next to the illegal settlement outpost of Geulat Zion, whose residents have clashed with local Palestinians in the past.
On Wednesday morning security forces razed five structures in Geulat Zion, in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria.
The Israel Defense Forces said it had responded to complaints in the area and discovered that the school had been damaged along with seven vehicles. A soldier at the scene was wounded by a stone.
Altogether, six minors and four adults were arrested on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the price-tag attacks and were expected to be indicted on Thursday. According to the police, some of the suspects were caught in the act of throwing stones, tried to escape and were apprehended after a chase.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the army "frowns upon such grave actions, which destabilize the region and deviate [sic] security forces' attention from their main mission -- combating terror."