The online edition of the Haaretz daily on Friday quoted sources within the Israeli occupation forces as cautioning that attacks on Palestinians could spiral further unless "extremism" among the settlers was immediately curbed.

In the latest incident, Israeli settlers in Yitzhar near Nablus attacked the Palestinian village of Asira al-Kabaliya. The mob threw stones at Israeli security forces when they sought to intervene.

About 20 settlers rioted in the Palestinian village – a day after an Israeli official warned of growing radicalisation of settlers in the area.

Warning

On Thursday, a senior Israeli security official stationed in Nablus stated that the number of violent attacks carried out by settlers would increase if action was not taken against what he called extremists.

The officer presented a list of incidents in which settlers from the Nablus area, most from the nearby settlements of Yitzhar and Itamar, attacked Palestinians.

"The situation will only intensify," the official warned. "We see a trend of radicalisation in the actions of the extremist activists. Attacks committed by Jews against Palestinians have increased."

Several violent incidents have taken place near Yitzhar in recent months.

Settlers wounded three security officers during the evacuation of two caravans in Yitzhar in January. A settler attempted to run over a security official who tried to prevent him from hanging anti-disengagement signs.

Just last week, settlers attacked a Palestinian truck driver. Another Palestinian was attacked by four settlers.