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Third day of clashes, settler violence in the West Bank

terça-feira 17 de junho de 2014, por Ahmad Jaradat,

At least three incidents of serious settler violence were reported Monday in the Bethlehem area.

Photo: Atef Abu a-Rub, B’Tselem/Past incident of settler violence toward Palestinians and their property

Monday marked the third consecutive day in which the occupied West Bank was wracked with increased settler violence and clashes with Israeli military forces following Israel’s exploitation of the reported kidnapping of three settler youths to crack down on Hamas and wage attacks on the new Palestinian unity government.

At least three incidents of serious settler violence were reported Monday in the Bethlehem area.

Osama Salim, 24, from the city of Bethlehem, was assaulted and beaten up by a number of settlers as he was driving near an Israeli settlement on his way to work. Salim suffered bruising to his hands and legs before managing to escape. The Palestinian News and Info Agency reports that he was transferred to a nearby hospital for medical assistance.

On Monday afternoon dozens of settlers congregated at the Kfar Etzion junction and stoned passing Palestinian-driven cars. This junction is located in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc located between Bethlehem and Hebron. The car of Yasser Kawazba from the Hebron area village of Saer was severely damaged before he managed to escape from the area.

Israeli soldiers called to the area did not detain or question any of the settlers on the scene, closing instead the road for a short period and ordering Palestinians not to drive through the area.

Also on Monday settlers set fire to Palestinian privately-owned agricultural land near the village of Hosan, west of Bethlehem. Head of the Hosan village council, Hassan Hamamreh, told WAFA that local residents saw a group of Israeli settlers setting fire to two locations planted with olive trees, grapevines and vegetables. Both locations were located adjacent to Israeli settlements.

According to local activist Taha Hamamreh, these attacks are part of an ongoing settler campaign against Palestinians in the area, in which settlers take over privately owned land and flood crops with sewage water

Hundreds of Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp marched to the Qalandiya checkpoint to protest the killing of 20-year-old Ahmed Sabarin early Monday morning. Sabarin was killed when clashes broke out during an Israeli military search and arrest operation in the camp.

During the subsequent clashes near Qalandiya, six Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated steel and live bullets shot by Israeli forces.

Yazan Yacoub, 17, was shot in the chest and abdomen with a live bullet. Palestinian media reports that Yacoub underwent an operation and is now in an intensive care unit in serious condition.

Meanwhile, a group of settlers from Halamish (Neve Tzuf) to the north of Ramallah opened fire against a Palestinian as he was driving on the main road near the Nabi Saleh village. No injuries were reported, although the car was damaged.

Israeli forces raided and damaged the offices of two civil society groups located in the northern West Bank area of Jenin. WAFA reports that forces raided the Mubadara (Palestinian National Initiative) offices in downtown Jenin, confiscating documents and three computers.

Mubadara. Led by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, considers itself a democratic "third alternative" to both Hamas and Fatah, thus belying media reports that Israel is focusing its attacks exclusively on Hamas activists and institutions.

WAFA further reports that Israeli soldiers raided the al Barra’ charitable society in Jenin, destroying its doors and much of its property. No injuries were reported.

Ver online : Alternative Information Center