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6 injured after Israeli settlers attack high school near Nablus

Feb. 20, 2014 8:04 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2014 10:07 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Six Palestinians were injured in clashes after Israeli settlers attacked a high school south of Nablus on Thursday, according to a Palestinian Authority official.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that clashes broke out after Israeli settlers attacked Burin High School.

The attack led to the subsequent intervention of dozens of villagers and Israeli forces, who fired tear gas during the clashes.

Daghlas added that dozens of Palestinian suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, including Mohammad Thawqan, Diya Rayyan, Imad Najjar, Asim Mohammad Najjar, Walid Salim, and Ibrahim Theeb.

The injured were subsequently taken to Rafidia governmental hospital for treatment.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that "100 Palestinians ... began hurling rocks at soldiers" while they were engaged in "routine activity" in the area.

She added that soldiers used "riot dispersal" means against the protesters.

Also on Thursday afternoon, a fire bomb was thrown towards a car belonging to a settler in the area. As a result, a large number of Israeli forces arrived on scene and closed the main road temporarily.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a "molotov cocktail" had been thrown "at an Israeli school bus" passing by on the road.

The violence comes a day after settlers hurled rocks at schoolchildren in the village and beat up a 50-year-old man in a similar attack on the village.

Burin is a frequent site of settler violence and Palestinian clashes with Israeli forces as it is located beside the notoriously violent Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.

Settlers frequently attack a number of local villages and prevent farmers from reaching their lands, according to UNOCHA, in addition to attacks on local olive trees themselves.

In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In the last week alone, hundreds of olive trees across the West Bank have been chopped in a number of incidents targeting Palestinian farmers' livelihoods.

Over 90 percent of investigations into settler violence by Israeli police fail to lead to an indictment.

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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