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Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars, injuring 2 children

Oct. 6, 2017 4:37 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 7, 2017 5:43 P.M.)
Armed settlers overlook a Palestinian village south of Nablus during confrontations following the setting on fire of Palestinian-owned fields on Jan. 1, 2010. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Two Palestinian children were injured in two separate incidents between Thursday night and Friday morning as Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian cars in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

According to Wafa Israeli settlers from the settlement of Givat Harsina, built illegally on private Palestinian land to the east of Hebron, hurled stones at vehicles with Palestinian license plates, breaking the glass of at least one car and causing the injury of a child.

The identity of the child remained unknown.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, a 7-year-old Palestinian girl sustained facial injuries in the same area after settlers reportedly attacked her family’s car with stones. The girl was admitted to a hospital for treatment.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, was not immediately available for comment.

Some 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. The international community has repeatedly called their presence and rising population the main impediment to potential peace in the region.

According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 132 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.

While the settlers living across the occupied West Bank in violation of international law are permitted to carry guns, and are rarely held accountable for stone throwing or similar attacks, Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

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.

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