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Settlers fire-bomb Palestinian home in Nablus

Feb. 28, 2011 9:06 P.M. (Updated: March 2, 2011 5:51 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Settlers set fire to a Palestinian home on Monday, injuring two children, and attacked Palestinian cars around Nablus, officials said.

Settlers threw Molotov cocktails at homes in Huwara village, setting fire to the home of Rabi Taha As-Sebty, said Palestinian Authority settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas.

Palestinian firefighters controlled the blaze, but two children who were sleeping in the home at the time were hospitalized suffering from smoke inhalation, medics said.

Locals also reported that settlers broke into the home of Muhammad As-Sebty and destroyed the furniture.

Israeli police had no immediate comment on the attack.

Israeli forces closed Huwara Street, a main road in Nablus, after hundreds of settlers hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at cars. Shavi Shemron Street and the At-Tanib checkpoint were also closed due to settler attacks.

Settlers began rioting in the West Bank city earlier Monday in protest over the demolition of illegal structures at an outpost by Israeli authorities.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said eight settlers were arrested during the demolition, five of whom used knives and spikes to puncture the tires of security forces.

Following the clashes, protesters in Jerusalem burned tires and tried to block a main Jerusalem traffic artery on Monday in solidarity with the settlers.

"About 50 people tried to block the main road at the entrance to Jerusalem," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. "They set fire to a number of tires, one arrest was made...they have been dispersed."

Settlers' news site Arutz Sheva said a number of demonstrators were arrested.

Hardline settlers have routinely attacked Palestinians after the Israeli government has carried out demolitions on outposts, calling this their "price tag" policy.

Under the policy, settlers "exact a price" for each evacuation of outposts by harming Palestinians. In the past, the "price tag" has included arson, shootings, beatings, burning fields, uprooting trees and poisoning water wells belonging to Palestinians.

Doughlas said Monday that a warning had been issued to Palestinians to avoid areas where settlers gather for their own safety.

AFP contributed to this report

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