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PA: Israeli inaction encourages settler violence

Oct. 25, 2011 12:57 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 26, 2011 11:58 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Monday said the Israeli government was "implicitly encouraging settlers to continue on their rampage" by failing to hold them to account for violent crimes.

"Israeli violations against Palestinians and their property and livelihood continue to increase with little or no action by the Israeli authorities to hold people to account under the rule of law," a government statement said.

The PA criticized Israeli settlers' ongoing assaults on Palestinians harvesting olives in Qalqiliya, Nablus, Salfit and Ramallah, and said settlers shot at villagers harvesting olives in Jaloud near Nablus on Friday, injuring four including a 12-year-old boy.

The Ramallah-based government also noted that the soldier who killed 33-year-old Issam Kamal Odeh in the northern West Bank in September has not been arrested.

The soldier's commander has been demoted following several operational and disciplinary events but will remain in the army, the PA noted.

Odeh was shot dead by Israeli forces following a settler raid in Qusra, near Nablus. An army inquiry said opening fire in response to a settler raid was an error in judgment, the Israeli news site Ynet reported, adding that the decision to remove the officer came after a number of different incidents.

No further action has been taken over the killing of Odeh, who was the father of seven children.

Meanwhile, several Palestinian children have been attacked in the last week. In Jerusalem, settlers kidnapped a child in Jerusalem and beat him before handing him to the Israeli army, the PA said, while undercover police kidnapped a 9-year-old child in Silwan.

Settlers threw stones at Palestinian cars near Ramallah, injuring an 11-year-old girl, and attacked students and teachers at a school near Hebron, the government said, adding that Israeli authorities had made no arrests in any of the incidents.

"We call on the international community to ensure that lawlessness is not allowed to pass unnoticed and, without consequences. As the occupying power, Israel is obliged by international law to prevent abuse of the occupied population. It is failing to do so."
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