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Settlers attack carol singers near Nablus

Dec. 18, 2011 10:49 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 22, 2011 5:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Settlers attacked a Palestinian choir bus returning from a carol concert in Nablus on Saturday evening, choristers told Ma'an.

The singers, from Bethlehem Bible college, said five men attacked them on a quiet road outside of the northern West Bank city.

"A rock smashed through the window, and glass shattered everywhere inside," chorister Saleem Anfous told Ma'an, adding that none of the 25 carol singers was injured.

"We kept driving and starting singing to cheer ourselves up and encourage the choir members," he said.

"Tomorrow we will continue our carol tour of the West Bank in Jenin, using the same road, and we are afraid. But we are trying to convince the families that God will protect us."

Bethlehem Bible College choir director Munther Isaac describes the attack.

Hardline settlers have torched mosques near Ramallah, Jerusalem and Salfit since last Wednesday. The latest string of attacks included a rampage on an army base, sparking condemnation in Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu to vow stronger enforcement against lawlessness.

But he rejected a recommendation to classify the Jewish extremists as terrorists, and Israeli lawmakers were set to discuss a law to legalize settlement outposts built on land owned by Palestinians on Sunday.

Extremists amongst Israel's 500,000 strong settler population in the West Bank and Jerusalem reference Israel's measures against outposts in their revenge 'price tag' attacks, usually directed at Palestinians in the West Bank, but recently spilling over into Palestinian sites in Israel and army targets.

Israel distinguishes between state-sanctioned settlement building on occupied Palestinian land and the wildcat outposts, but the international community says all settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem break international law.

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