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Shots fired at Israeli settler's vehicle near Beit Sahour

July 22, 2016 10:00 A.M. (Updated: July 24, 2016 8:16 P.M.)
house raid
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli settler’s vehicle was struck by live bullets on Thursday night near Beit Sahour in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, according to the Israeli army.

A group of armed Palestinians reportedly opened fire from their car at an Israeli settler’s vehicle that was passing near the illegal Har Homa settlement, which sits on top of Palestine’s Abu Ghnaim Mountain.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that the vehicle sustained damage, but no injuries were reported. However, she could not confirm the number of Israelis who were in the vehicle.

sraeli forces searched the area for suspects, and carried out a raid on the eastern entrance of Beit Sahour, as Israeli soldiers searched and confiscated security cameras following the incident.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that the military search campaign was still ongoing.

More than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis and some 32 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since a wave of unrest first swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October. The unrest has been marked by a surge of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals -- predominantly on Israeli military targets.

Israelis residing in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank have also been the target of several attacks in recent months, amid mounting tension between local Palestinians and the expanding settler population. 

Israeli authorities expropriated the land around the Abu Ghnaim Mountain in Bethlehem in the early 1990s, and commenced the construction of the Har Homa settlement a few years later. Most of the land was privately owned by Palestinian residents of Beit Sahour.

Since Har Homa’s inception, the settlement has continuously expanded, displacing Palestinians and consuming more land along its way. According to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, the Har Homa settlement had a population of some 16,470 as of 2013, making it one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.

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