Continued settler violence raises concerns

Published Mar 15, 2011 11:13

Israeli border police detain an Israeli settler after a group attacked Palestinian
cars and homes and blocked a main road in the West Bank city of Hebron.
[AFP/Hazem Bader]

NABLUS (Ma’an) — As villagers in Awarta reported hundreds of settlers protesting and throwing rocks at homes, elsewhere in the West Bank reports flooded in of settler attacks targeting Palestinians.

An estimated 200 settlers from the Kedumim settlement, five kilometers west of Nablus, demonstrated on the main road leading north, hurling stones at passing Palestinian cars.

To the east of Nablus, witnesses reported seeing settlers throwing stones from their parked cars at passing traffic.

Settlers reported stones thrown by Palestinians at Israeli traffic near Nablus and close to the Shiloh settlement, near Ramallah. No casualties were reported in any of the incidents.

Overnight, settlers torched two Palestinian cars just north of El-Bireh, also near Ramallah, residents said. They said the two vehicles, which were set alight before dawn near Beit El settlement, were totally gutted.

Both the Israeli military and the police say they remain on alert, fearing a wave of revenge attacks in response to the killings, pictures of which were widely circulated by the settler leadership.

Amnesty International called on Israel to halt the settler attacks, which are posed as reprisal attacks against Palestinians, who Israeli officials blamed for the death of a settler family in Itamar, next to Awarta.

Five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death in their home on Friday night. Israeli police have said that the killings were a “terrorist attack,” while Palestinians have called the judgment hasty, and militant groups have come out in condemnation of the murders. which included the stabbing death of an infant.

Condemning the murder of the settler family, AI said the incident was not justification for attacks on Palestinian civilians.

‘We utterly condemn the killing of the Fogel family in Itamar. There must be a prompt and effective investigation to identify those suspected of involvement and ensure that they are brought to justice in a fair trial,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa in a statement.

“The Israeli security forces must act to prevent reprisals against Palestinian civilians by armed Israeli settlers.and bring those responsible to justice”

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