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Israeli settlers set fire to large swathes of land near Nablus

Aug. 9, 2015 5:27 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2015 12:06 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Sunday set fire to hundreds of acres of land surrounding the village of Burin in southern Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Bracha set fire to land east and west of Burin, which then spread across hundreds of acres.

Daghlas said settlers from the illegal Yizhar settlement separately set fire to another area to the south of Burin, with the blaze rapidly spreading to the southern village of Einabus.

The Palestinian Civil Defense said it was trying to reach the fires to put them out.

They said that it was too early to determine the scale of the damage.

Locals said that clashes later broke out between Palestinian residents of Burin and Israeli forces, who reportedly arrived claiming that Palestinians had thrown stones at settlers on roads near Burin.

Settler violence has come under international scrutiny in recent days, after a violent attack on the village of Duma -- also in southern Nablus -- killed an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler and his father.

The PA security services have said they will do everything in their power to crack down on violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers, but under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PA has no jurisdiction over Israeli citizens living in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli authorities, meanwhile, have systematically failed to hold settlers accountable for attacks on Palestinians and their property, according to rights groups.

Israeli rights group Yesh Din calculated in May that a Palestinian who files a complaint against Israeli settlers has a "1.9 percent chance that his or her complaint will lead to an effective investigation that results in the identification of a suspect and followed by indictment, trial and conviction."

Israeli settlers have carried out at least 120 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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