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Police: Settlers stab Palestinian farmers

July 18, 2011 2:16 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2011 7:38 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- A group of Israeli settlers attacked three Palestinian shepherds near Jerusalem on Monday, police said.

The shepherds were tending to their sheep on a hillside near Mikhmas east of Jerusalem when they came under a "brutal" attack by the ultra-Orthodox settlers who beat and stabbed them, Palestinian police said in a statement.

They were evacuated to hospital where medics said two victims sustained serious wounds, police said. The statement did not elaborate on their identities or say at which hospital they received treatment.

The alleged attack follows a string of violent events in the occupied Palestinian territories.

A report by the Palestinian Authority found that settler violence increased "dramatically" in June 2011, documenting 139 attacks in the West Bank and the destruction of over 3,600 olive trees and vineyards.

On Friday, Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Yizhar set fire to Palestinian land near the village of Burin, south of Nablus, a member of its agricultural committee, Belal Eid, told Ma'an.

Two days earlier, a Palestinian teenager sustained bruises after Israeli settlers pelted his car with stones near the site of the former Israeli settlement of Homesh, which was evacuated in 2005.
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