JERUSALEM (AFP) - Clashes between Israeli troops who intervened as Jewish settlers hurled rocks at Palestinian farmers in the West Bank left a soldier and a settler injured on Wednesday, the military said. "About 10 masked settlers armed with bats hurled rocks at Palestinians who were picking olives," a military spokeswoman said. The incident was the latest of several such attacks in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since the olive picking season started earlier this month. A soldier was lightly injured after troops intervened to stop the settlers in Wednesday's incident near Otniel settlement, south of Hebron, the spokeswoman said. She said a settler was also taken to hospital with light injuries after he tried to grab a soldier's weapon. Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad condemned what he called "settler terrorism and their barbaric actions against Palestinian farmers," after taking part in the olive harvest in a field near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Reporters and human rights groups whose members are participating in the harvest have reported several incidents in which settlers attacked farmers picking olives from their trees close to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The United Nations has said that "as a military occupying power, the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) is obligated to ensure public order and life in the occupied territories and the government of Israel has repeatedly committed to ensuring that Palestinian olive farmers have access to their fields." Palestinian farmers in the West Bank "have faced incidents of crop theft, tree uprooting, harassment and physical attack," it said in a report earlier this month. In addition, many farmers are separated from their olive groves by Israel's West Bank barrier, and need special permits to access their fields through barriers that only open at set times. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Monday lashed out at what he called "these thugs who interfere with the olive harvest which constitutes an important sector of the Palestinian economy." In an editorial headlined "criminal neglect in the West Bank," the liberal Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday urged Barak "to enforce law and order in his jurisdiction and allocate the resources to do so." The police and Shin Beth domestic intelligence agency "also should not tolerate settlers' shameful attacks on olive harvesters," the paper said. Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday gave $150m in budget support to the Palestinian Authority, after delivering a similar sum in March. "The US has again delivered a significant sum of money directly to the Palestinian budget, our most critical area of need," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said at a signing ceremony in the West Bank political capital Ramallah. "I thank President (George W) Bush and the many members of Congress for making this assistance possible and for their ongoing efforts to build a secure, independent Palestinian state that will live in peace and security with Israel and all its neighbours," he said. Jake Walles, the US consul in Jerusalem, said, "The US government is pleased to support the Prime Minister and his government's efforts to ensure a future of economic and political stability for the Palestinian people." The World Bank says the Palestinian economy, driven by investment and private sector productivity before 2000, has turned into one sustained by government spending and donor aid. From January to August this year, the Palestinian Authority received $1.2b in budget support, in addition to about $300m in development aid, the multilateral agency said in a September report.