DFLP leader calls for settler watch groups

After armed settlers arrived in Asira al-Qibilya on Saturday,
two Palestinian men were injured.
(MaanImages/B’Tselem)

Maan News Agency | May 27, 2012

 

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinians must respond to settler attacks by reactivating popular watch groups, a leader from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Sunday.

Qais Abed al-Karim stressed the importance of forming popular watch committees to protect Palestinians and their property from increasing settler violence.

He also called on the international community to protect Palestinian civilians from settler violence.

On Saturday, a settler shot a Palestinian in the northern West Bank village of Urif, near Nablus.

Najeh al-Safadi, 22, was handcuffed by a guard from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar who threw him to the ground and shot him while other settlers kicked him, a relative said.

Last Sunday, an armed settler shot Nimir Fathi, 24, in the neck during clashes in the Nablus village of Asira al-Qibliya.

Video footage from an Israeli human rights group showed the settler opening fire on Palestinians in the presence of Israeli soldiers, who did not intervene at any point.

The recent shootings were the latest incidents in widespread and escalating settler violence against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.

The Nablus area experienced the majority of settler violence during this period, with settlers routinely destroying Palestinian agricultural crops, vandalizing property, and physically assaulting locals.

Palestinians complain that the Israeli army, which is ostensibly there to protect settlers, rarely intervenes to prevent the attacks.

In 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that settler attacks had increased by 50 percent on the previous year.

Over 90 percent of villages attacked by settlers are under Israeli security control, The Palestine Center says, meaning local Palestinians only have the official protection of an army which they claim ignores settler violence.





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