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Medics: Settlers hurl Molotov cocktails at Palestinian family

Aug. 16, 2012 8:01 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 18, 2012 8:26 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Five Palestinians were seriously injured on Thursday after Israeli settlers threw Molotov cocktails at their car south of Bethlehem, medics said.

The injured were all from the Hassan family, and included four-year-olds Iman and Muhammad, their parents Ayman, 37, and Jamila, 25, and Hassan Hassan who was driving, Red Crescent official Abdul Jaafra told Ma'an.

Both children suffered first degree burns, and the adults suffered second and third degree burns, Jaafra said.

The incident happened near al-Arrub refugee camp, he added.

Jaafra said they were taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem in Magen David Adom ambulances.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident and that soldiers and border police had raised their alert level.

Israel's army commander in the West Bank Hagai Mordechai said the incident was a potential threat to destabilizing the area, "especially during such a period of time," the army said in a statement.

A military source said investigations indicated that Israeli civilians were responsible for the attack.

In Ramallah on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority cabinet condemned the "continued occupation and settler attacks against our people and their property."

Ministers also said "the continuation of such measures and policies of land theft and expulsion of citizens actually destroys the future of peace based on the two-state solution on the 1967 borders.

"This matter requires an effective and serious intervention to oblige the government of Israel to abide by international law and legitimacy".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the attack.

"This is a grave incident. We will do all it takes to catch those responsible and bring them to justice," he said.

Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups say that settlers are rarely prosecuted in cases of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live on occupied Palestinian land.

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