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Troops, settlers force village to recite 'I love Israel'

May 30, 2012 5:18 P.M. (Updated: June 4, 2012 5:21 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces and settlers raided a village northwest of Jerusalem earlier this week, and humiliated and abused its residents, a local official said.

Residents of al-Nabi Samwil were working on their land on Monday when Israeli forces, accompanied by settlers, arrived and demanded to see villagers' ID cards, head of the local governor's office Mohammad Tari told Ma'an.

Israeli officers ordered young men from the village to sing, dance and say "I love Israel." When the villagers refused they were physically attacked, Tari said.

Village resident Eid Barakat said Israeli border police were behind the forced humiliation, which left a number of villagers with moderate injuries.

Meanwhile, a group of settlers drove around the village trying to run over youths, and assaulted 16-year-old Ahmad Barakat, Tari added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army had "no record of the incident," while a border police spokesman said he was looking into it.

Tari said Israeli settlers attacked the village most days, and that they wanted to confiscate residents' land. Around 200 Palestinians live in al-Nabi Samwil, located in the seam zone between Israel's separation wall and the 1967 green line bordering Jerusalem.
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