Settlers raid villages across West Bank

Settlers raid villages across West Bank
Published today (updated) 12/03/2011 20:02

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Villages across the West Bank have reported raids by settlers following the murder of five Israelis early Saturday morning in Itamar settlement.

A three-month old baby girl, two children aged three and 11, and their parents were all stabbed to death in a brutal attack which has been blamed on Palestinians.

As Israeli forces launched a manhunt across the northern West Bank, residents of several Palestinian villages said they were stormed by angry settlers.

In Burin, near Nablus, village council head Ali Eid said residents of the illegal Bracha settlement raided the village.

Settlers entered Maher Mahmoud Hassen’s home and tried to take his children, who managed to escape, Eid said.

Settlers also entered the homes of Najeh and Hatem Tawfiq E’mran, he added.

Residents of nearby Huwwara also said they were harassed by settlers, who tried to enter Palestinian homes in the eastern side of the town.

Town officials called on residents to gather in the area to protect the homes in a call over the loudspeakers of the local mosque.

Residents responded to the call, and settlers left the area.

Meanwhile in Hebron, settlers threw rocks at a Palestinian Authority civil defense vehicle, smashing the wind screen and injuring the driver, police said.

Ibrahim Abu Sabha sustained head injuries from the shattered glass as he drove between Yatta and Al-Musafer villages in the southern West Bank district.

In the central West Bank village of Beitillu, residents said settlers handed out leaflets threatening residents that their lives were at risk.

Settlers distributed the statement signed by “the Jews from the land of Israel” at the village entrance, locals said.

Israeli forces have detained dozens of Palestinians since the attack in Itamar settlement. Several military checkpoints have been reinstalled and flying checkpoints set up across Nablus. Locals said the army has declared the district a closed military zone.

Israel’s military had no immediate comment.

Tensions between Palestinians and settlers have escalated since the Israeli government removed structures at an illegal outpost west of Nablus on February 28.

Settlers responded to the demolition immediately, firebombing a home in Huwarra. Two children were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.

Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at Palestinians during clashes with settlers near Nablus on Monday, injuring 10 Palestinians, medics said. One settler was injured by a rock, a spokesman for settlers said.

Settlers also smashed shops and cars and cut down olive trees in Hebron.

On March 3, settlers organized a “day of rage” rallying in Israel and the West Bank and threatening further attacks against Palestinians.

Maan News Agency: Settlers raid villages across West Bank.

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