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Settlers burn cars, vandalize mosque in Nablus area

Sept. 8, 2011 12:33 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 10, 2011 9:37 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted olive trees, set fire to cars and vandalized a mosque in the Nablus area on Thursday, officials said.

Palestinian official Ghassan Douglas told Ma'an that two cars were set alight in the village of Qabalan, south of Nablus.

Settlers also vandalized a mosque in Yatma village south of Nablus, spraying anti Muslim and anti Arab slogans on the walls, witnesses said.

Over 35 olive trees were also uprooted by settlers in the village of Huwwara, near the illegal settlement of Yitzhar.

The latest attacks come amid an escalation in settler violence over the past week. On Monday, settlers torched a mosque in the village of Qusra, which is located near the villages of Qabalan and Yatma.

Hebrew-language graffiti reading "Mohammad is a pig" and the star of David were sprayed on the building.

On Wednesday, Israeli settlers then vandalized an Israeli army base in the first reported case of 'price tag' attacks carried out against Israeli forces, the army said.

Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina said Monday that the recent escalation in settler violence is an attempt to thwart the Palestinian bid for UN recognition in September.

Some 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians in the same territory.

All settlements are considered illegal under international law.

Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 Israeli police investigations of settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.
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