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Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers, injure woman in northern West Bank

March 6, 2017 7:11 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 8:06 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers assaulted and injured a Palestinian woman who was working on her agricultural lands in the northern occupied West Bank on Monday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that more than 20 Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad attacked Palestinian farmers working in their lands in the nearby village of Faraata in the Qalqiliya district.

Daghlas said that the settlers attacked the farmers despite the fact that the Palestinians had coordinated with Israeli officials in order to access their lands in the area.

He added that Israeli settlers destroyed an agricultural tractor owned by Abdullah Shanaa, causing clashes to erupt, during which 55-year-old Mariam al-Salman suffered from bruises on her upper body after settlers threw rocks at her.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces were “alerted to a dispute” in the area and “dispersed” those involved in conjunction with Israeli security guards from Havat Gilad.

The spokesperson said they were not aware of anyone being injured in the assault, nor of anyone being detained or investigated.

While no Israelis seemed to have been detained in this incident for having thrown stones at Palestinians, Palestinians risk prison sentences for up to 20 years for throwing stones at Israelis.

Attacks by settlers are often carried out under the armed protection of Israeli forces who rarely make efforts to protect Palestinians from such attacks.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.

OCHA reported 16 instances of settler-related violence as of Feb. 20, seven of whom were attacks on Palestinian individuals.
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