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Israeli forces assault Palestinian school bus driver near Hebron

Oct. 27, 2013 1:47 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 28, 2013 8:07 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian bus driver carrying students in the Masafer region east of Yatta in the southern West Bank early Sunday morning, a Palestinian official said.

Ratib al-Jbour, the coordinator of the Popular and National Committees south of Hebron and east of Yatta, said that the Israeli forces stopped Mufid Abu Qbaiyta, 27, and beat him up while he was picking up school children.

As a result of the attack, al-Jbour suffered from bruises all over his body.

Israeli forces also damaged the tires of the bus, in order to prevent drivers from picking up children in the surrounded areas.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was "not familiar" with the incident.

The South Hebron Hills, known locally as Masafer Yatta, lie almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israel civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Around 3,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal Jewish-only settlements in the Yatta region, according to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.

The safety of these settlers is often given as an excuse for forced displacement of Palestinians who live in the area.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank forms a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
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