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Settlers pelt rocks at Palestinian cars in Hebron, level lands in Bethlehem

Sept. 26, 2017 5:29 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 27, 2017 12:21 P.M.)
Armed settlers overlook a Palestinian village south of Nablus during confrontations following the setting on fire of Palestinian-owned fields on Jan. 1, 2010. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian cars by pelting rocks in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank on Tuesday, while in a separate incident Israeli settlers leveled lands near Bethlehem in order to allegedly construct a sewage system servicing surrounding Israeli settlements.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that dozens of settlers, some of whom were armed, congregated on Road 60 near the Palestinian villages of Bani Naim and Yatta, and just outside Israel's ultra right Kiryat Arba settlement, and pelted rocks and empty bottles at Palestinian vehicles.

Wafa noted that several vehicles were damaged during the incident; however, no physical injuries were reported.

In a separate incident, Wafa reported that Israeli settlers from Israel’s illegal Hitmar settlement had leveled Palestinian-owned agricultural lands in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader in the southern West Bank.

Ahmad Salah, a local activist, told Wafa that the settlers were planning on building a sewage system for settlements in the area, which would prevent Palestinian farmers from accessing their lands.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an they were "unfamiliar" with the incident or plans of constructing a sewage system in the village.

Some 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. The international community has repeatedly called their presence and rising population the main impediment to potential peace in the region.

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 132 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have 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.
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