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Palestinian locals continue to ward off settler attacks in West Bank

Oct. 7, 2015 9:53 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2015 3:06 P.M.)
Relatives of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha who burned alive in an arson attack by Israeli settlers mourn next to his body in the West Bank village of Duma on July 31, 2015. (AFP/ Thomas Coex)
NABLUS (Ma’an) – After days of attacks by Israeli settlers throughout occupied Palestinian territory, Palestinian residents continue attempts to prevent settler attacks in their towns and villages.

Overnight Tuesday, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered near the main entrance to Majdal Bani Fadil south of Nablus and attempted to attack the village, said Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank.

Daghlas told Ma'an that the settlers closed the road with rocks before local Palestinian men took to the street and clashed with the group, preventing an attack.

A similar attack by settlers was prevented in the Palestinian village of Jit, between Nablus and Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, as residents clashed with settlers at the village entrance.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are increasingly forming patrols to protect their towns and villages from attacks by Israeli settlers.

The trend has picked up since residents of the Palestinian village of Duma began forming voluntary groups to guard against attacks after an arson attack left an 18-month-old resident burned alive and his parents dead on July 31.

While the Palestinian Authority security services said following the fatal attack that it would do everything in its power to crack down on terrorist acts carried out by settlers, the PA has no jurisdiction over Israelis living in the West Bank.

Furthermore, violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents and few options for their personal security remain, according to documentation by rights groups.

At least 151 settler attacks have been carried out on Palestinians or their property since the start of 2015 in occupied Palestinian territory, according to UN documentation

The most recent round of settler attacks came in retribution for the deaths of four Israelis over the past week.

Two Israeli settlers were killed by alleged Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank, days before two Israelis were killed in occupied East Jerusalem in separate attacks by Palestinian individuals.
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