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Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian homes in Hebron-area village

Oct. 24, 2017 12:53 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 25, 2017 2:14 P.M.)
Israeli forces talk with settlers from the Esh Kodesh settlement as they stage a sit-in in an attempt to prevent Palestinians from working in their fields in the northern West Bank (AFP, File)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians in the southern occupied West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir village, located in the Hebron district, on Monday afternoon.

Coordinator of popular committees in the southern West Bank Ratib al-Jabour told Ma’an that physical altercations erupted between Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Karmel settlement and Palestinians from Umm al-Kheir, after the setllers threw rocks at homes in the village.

According to al-Jabour, the Israeli army arrived in the area and began firing flares and sound bombs to disperse the crowds.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports.

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

While the hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements across the 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.

Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

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 and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.
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