Israeli Settler Fires at Palestinians’ Cars as Illegal Settlement Building Continues

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A Palestinian activist, Lema Nazeeh, argues with an Israeli soldier during clashes between security forces and Palestinians from the West Bank village of Bilin on January 30, 2015 in Bilin, west of Ramallah, following a march to protest against Israeli settlements. Israel published tenders to build 450 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a watchdog said, in a plan denounced by the Palestinians as a "war crime." AFP/Abbas Momani

Published Sunday, February 8, 2015

An Israeli settler opened fire at several cars belonging to Palestinians near the village of Aqraba south of Nablus on Saturday, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an news agency, as Zionist settlers set up several illegal mobile homes in the Nablus village of Jalud.

Security sources said there were no injuries reported from Saturday’s shooting. Several Israeli military patrols arrived in the area and stopped traffic for a short period of time following the incident.

Hate crimes by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property, referred to as “price tag” attacks, are systematic and often abetted by Israeli authorities, who rarely intervene in the violent attacks or prosecute the perpetrators.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there have been 2,100 Zionist settler violence attacks in the past eight years. The number quadrupled from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013.

Elsewhere in Nablus, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes in Jalud village on Saturday, a local official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, said that several Israeli settlers set up five mobile homes in the Jabal Abu al-Rakha and Jabal Kweik areas in southern Jalud.

The areas are located between the illegal Israeli settlement outposts of Adi Ad and Esh Kodesh, Daghlas said.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers, soaring from 189,000 in 1989, live in settlements across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

Settlers act without approval to expand settlements or create new ones in the West Bank, building outposts that are illegal even by the Israeli authorities' standards.

In most cases these settlement outposts are then "legalized" by Israel, and in rare cases they are dismantled.

Palestinians are rarely granted permission to build in the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, or in annexed East Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities have also allowed Zionist settlers to take over homes in Palestinian neighborhoods both in annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and announced plans to build thousands of settlements strictly for Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem while ignoring Palestinian residents.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous Balfour Declaration, called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

As a result, some 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes, or were forcibly expelled, while hundreds of Palestinian villages and cities were razed to the ground by invading Zionist forces.

Israel then occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state — a move never recognized by the international community.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)


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