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US diplomats visit village near Nablus frequently attacked by Israeli settlers

July 29, 2008 12:37 A.M. (Updated: July 29, 2008 12:37 A.M.)
Nablus - Ma'an - Two diplomats from the US State Department on Monday visited the village of Burin, south of Nablus, which has endured numerous attacks from Israeli settlers recently, in a clear message regarding the American position on Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. Burin is considered one of the most frequently attacked villages by Israeli settlers, who have launched four homemade projectiles towards the village over the past few weeks.

The US delegation, headed by Chris Grantham, political attaché at the State Department, met on Monday afternoon with the head of the Burin municipal council, 'Ali 'Eid, and several other council members.

"We came to listen and see what is going on in Burin," Grantham told Ma'an. 'Ali 'Eid explained, "we will tell the Americans that Israeli settlers burned more than 4,500 olive trees on village lands within the last month, as well as launching four projectiles that were produced in a settler outpost built on land in Area B, which is supposed to be under Palestinian civil control."

The village of Burin has some 3,000 residents and includes 32,000 dunams of mainly agricultural land, according to 'Eid. A dunam is equal to 1,000 square metres or approximately a quarter of an acre. He stressed that Burin residents are attacked on an almost daily basis by Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar, who have built four illegal outposts on land belonging to the village since 2002.

'Eid denied that the village has received any substantive support from the Palestinian Authority, noting that projects have not moved beyond verbal promises.

The American delegation visited the sites where the settler projectiles landed, and other locations attacked by settlers, including a house in the village that was burned by settlers on Monday morning.

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