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Soldiers detain 2 Palestinians after assault by settlers

Jan. 14, 2012 2:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 15, 2012 10:50 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained two young Palestinian men in central Hebron on Friday night, after witnesses said they were attacked by Israeli settlers.

Settlers from nearby outposts assaulted the men as they crossed al-Shuhada street in the center of the southern West Bank city, eyewitnesses said.

Israeli soldiers patrolling the area detained the Palestinians after the assault, they said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said two Palestinians were detained in Hebron after they attempted to hurl rocks at security forces, and were released on Saturday.

Al-Shuhada street has often been a focus of friction between Hebron's Palestinian majority and the small group of Jewish settlers living in the city center.

Hebron was split into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control by a 1997 agreement.

The Israeli human rights group BT'selem says there is a "systematic failure" to protect Palestinians from settler attacks in Hebron, with Israeli soldiers often witnessing violent assaults without intervening.
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