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Settlers torch olive trees, attack school in Nablus

Oct. 9, 2013 2:09 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2013 5:06 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of settlers set fire to agricultural land in Nablus on Wednesday and attacked students at a local school, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that settlers from Shilo set fire to agricultural land in an area known as Mount Jalud.

Dozens of settlers then raided a school in the nearby village of Qaryut and vandalized five cars. The group also set fire to land in the village, destroying dozens of olive trees.

Palestinian Authority firetrucks arrived at the scene and extinguished the blaze.

Settlers tried to enter the village but were confronted by local residents, Daghlas added.

An Israeli security official said the military received a complaint that a school, seven vehicles and an orchard were damaged in an attack.

In response, the official said, four suspects were arrested.

Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner added that the "the IDF frowns upon such grave actions, which destabilize the region and deviate security forces' attention from their main mission - combating terror."

The Nablus region of the West Bank experiences a particularly high rate of settler attacks, with settlements built illegally next to Palestinian communities.

Settler attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are systematic and rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.
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