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Report: Settlers attack undercover Israeli police in Hebron

Oct. 8, 2012 11:31 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2012 5:35 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Three young Israeli settlers are in custody on suspicion of attacking undercover Israeli officers posing as Palestinian shepherds in southern Hebron, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

Israeli police said the settlers punched the officers and attacked them with clubs last week, assuming they were Palestinians, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Another suspect fled the scene when police identified themselves to the masked group, the report said.

Police said they did not provoke the settlers, who said they were forced to remove shepherds from the land because police and army did not respond to their calls.

The three are being held in custody pending formal charges as the judge deemed they may be dangerous, the report said.

Palestinian farmers living in the south Hebron hills complain of constant attacks by settlers living in formal settlements and a crop of illegal outposts in the area.

Israeli authorities have outlined plans to demolish and evacuate eight villages in the area to make space for a military training zone.

President Mahmoud Abbas has said that Israel demolished 510 Palestinian structures in Area C in the past 12 months and displaced 770 Palestinians from their homes.

"The occupying power continues to deliberately demolish what the PNA is building, projects funded by donor brethren and friends, and destroying PNA projects involving the building of roads, simple homes for its citizens and agricultural facilities," Abbas said in September.
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