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Palestinian hospitalized after Israeli settler attack south of Nablus

May 17, 2017 12:47 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2017 4:13 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was hospitalized after a group of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians with rocks south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night.

An official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, told Ma’an that Yousif Abu Bakr, from Jenin, sustained injuries after he was struck with a rock thrown by an Israeli at a crossroads near the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar adjacent to the Palestinian village of Huwwara.

Abu Bakr was evacuated to the Huwwara emergency center for treatment.

In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that several Israelis had gathered in the area and hurled rocks toward Palestinian vehicles, before Israeli forces “dispersed the gathering to prevent any escalation of violence.”

She added that she was not aware of any detentions being made or disciplinary action taken against the Israeli stone throwers.

The following morning, Israeli forces detained a wounded 19-year-old Palestinian after an Israeli settler got out of his car and shot the young man for allegedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Route 60 in the central occupied West Bank.

Over the past month, several attacks have been carried out in villages near to the Yitzhar settlement.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have meanwhile accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians, while Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones if intent to harm could be proven, and face a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.

Israel has meted out harsh prison sentences to scores of Palestinians for rock throwing in recent months. In contrast, Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 46 attacks being reported since the start of 2017.
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