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Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village in middle of the night, attack Palestinian home

Feb. 14, 2018 4:42 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 12:50 P.M.)
Israeli settlers throwing rocks as Israeli forces look on (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Tens of Israeli settlers reportedly attacked a Palestinian home in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Wednesday before dawn, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that some 30 Israeli settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement pelted rocks at and smashed the windows of the Saleh family’s home in the Nablus-area village of Asira al-Shamaliya.

The mother of the home reportedly rushed her children into a safer area of the house while her husband called out to the neighbors for help.

The settlers reportedly fled when other residents of the village came to the aid of the family.

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.

According to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), since the state of Israel confiscated land from Urif and other Palestinian villages to establish the illegal Yithzar settlement in the 1980s, "attacks and violence perpetrated by settlers has had a profoundly negative impact on Palestinian residents and their property," stressing that Yitzhar "poses a daily threat to residents of the neighboring Palestinian villages."

Settlers have also been known to steal crops, damage and burn trees and other plants, and attack places of worship in the area, in an attempt to intimidate Palestinian villagers and farmers from using their land.

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.

In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that 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.

While the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers 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.

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