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Israeli settlers raze Palestinian-owned lands in Nablus

Oct. 2, 2018 3:11 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 3, 2018 1:22 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers entered, with bulldozers, into the Khirbat Lafjan area east of Aqraba village in southern Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar entered with bulldozers and began to raze and levels lands.

Daghlas confirmed that Israeli settlers razed more than 200 dunams (49.4 acres) of land belonging to two Palestinian families, the Sbeih and al-Atout family.

Israeli forces did not intervene and told Palestinians that these lands belong to Israelis and will be used for future military training.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency, reported a spike in Israeli hate crimes against Palestinians in 2018.

According to the April report, there were 13 attacks in the first four months of this year - more than in the whole of 2017, when the agency recorded only eight attacks -- though Palestinians report the number to be much higher.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.

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

Known as "price tag" attacks, extremist Israeli settlers use violent acts of retribution on Palestinians and their property to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli restrictions on settlements and their outposts in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem reported that "settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by. The police makes no substantial effort to investigate the incidents, nor takes measures to prevent them or stop them in real time."
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