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PA: World must act on settler violence

March 2, 2011 9:57 P.M. (Updated: March 4, 2011 11:37 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday urged the international community to take action to halt Jewish settler violence towards Palestinians.

Following a series of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, the Ramallah-based leadership issued a statement demanding the international community "intervene with Israel over the violent and provocative actions by settlers, which the Israeli authorities refuse to control."

In recent days, angry settlers have launched several attacks on Palestinian villagers after Israeli police razed several structures on one of their settlement outposts, in line with a so-called "price-tag" policy.

In one incident, settlers firebombed a house in the village of Huwwara near Nablus, and two children were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

They also smashed up shops and damaged cars near the southern city of Hebron, Palestinian security officials said.

"There has been a surge of violence by settlers against law-abiding Palestinian citizens in recent days," said Ghassan Khatib, head of the government media centre, urging the international community "to send a clear message to Israel that its tolerance of settler violence is dangerous and provocative.

"These settlers act as if (they are) above the law, and the failure of the Israeli authorities to take action suggests that the rule of law does not apply to them."

Jewish settlers have warned they will stage a "Day of Rage" on Thursday to protest against what they claim was police brutality during Monday's demolition of several structures on the Havat Gilad outpost near Nablus.

It was not immediately clear what form the protest would take, but in the past, settler protests have involved sit-ins at major road junctions.

Speaking to AFP on Tuesday, one far-right activist from Havat Gilad warned the settlers may even enter Palestinian villages to throw out the residents.
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