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Official: Settler tries to stab Palestinian

May 4, 2011 12:00 P.M. (Updated: May 4, 2011 2:28 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- An Israeli settler tried Tuesday to stab Palestinians near Qaryot village south of Nablus, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Doughlas, a Fatah official charged with monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said a settler from “Alia” attacked a farmer and tried to stab him even though he had a permit to be on the farmland.

Doughlas said Radi Farhan Ahmad Issa, 45, fled but the settler slashed tires on Issa's tractor.

The Israeli army, meanwhile, closed the nearby Huwara checkpoint and posted other blocks at the entrance of a number of villages, Doughlas said. They were preparing for a settler demonstration, he said.

The night before, soldiers closed the village of An-Nabi Saleh, shutting down entrances with road blocks and restricting movement of residents, witnesses said.

Israeli troops were deployed throughout the village for unknown reasons, leading to clashes with teenagers, witnesses said.

Military jeeps remained stationed at the entrances to the village well into Tuesday morning, local residents told Ma'an, saying they feared several pending home demolition orders were about to be executed.

An-Nabi Saleh's popular resistance committee, which organizes a weekly protest against continued land confiscations from the nearby settlement of Hallamish, called the overnight raid "collective punishment."

The raids amounted to attempts to weaken the resolve of the villagers, who continue to demand access to lands confiscated by illegal settlements, the locals said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no military activity in the area overnight.

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