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Israeli settlers hurl rocks at Palestinian homes in Hebron's Old City

Aug. 6, 2017 9:55 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2017 5:42 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- A group of Israeli settlers hurled rocks at Palestinian homes on Saturday night in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron's Old City in the southern occupied West Bank.

Local sources told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, threw rocks at Palestinian homes near the Ibrahimi Mosque and shouted curses at the Palestinian residents. No injuries were reported by the sources.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident. An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

On Friday night, Israeli settlers had also attacked Palestinians in the Wadi al-Hassin neighborhood, located directly beside Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement. At least four Palestinians were injured during the incident.

The settler attacks came some two weeks after an Israeli settler takeover of the Abu Rajab family home located in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Some 6,500 Palestinians and 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live in the Old City of Hebron, according to a 2016 report by legal rights NGO BADIL.

Palestinian residents of the Old City face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.

Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed to drive on al-Shuhada street, have had their homes and shops on the street welded shut, and in some areas of the Old City, are not permitted to walk on certain roads.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers move freely on the street, drive cars, and carry machine guns.

Palestinian activists in Hebron have also connected recent settler attacks on Palestinian communities to a decision by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inscribe Hebron's Old City and Ibrahimi Mosque as protected sites on the World Heritage in Danger list.

According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 77 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.

Palestinian activists and rights groups have long accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Israelis are often shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed "extrajudicial executions," or face long prison sentences.

Palestinians also face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not. Israeli settlers who also routinely hurl rocks at Palestinians rarely face any consequences.
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