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Hundreds of Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village

April 4, 2019 12:03 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2019 3:40 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli settlers, escorted by heavily armed Israeli forces, raided the Palestinian village of Awarta, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on predawn Thursday, and performed religious rituals in the area.

Head of the Awarta village council Saad Awwad, told Ma'an that Israeli forces raided the village and imposed closure by setting up several flying checkpoints at the entrances of the village and preventing Palestinians from going in or out.

Awwad added that hundreds of Israeli settlers raided three areas in the eastern and central parts of village where they performed prayers.

Israeli forces had reportedly warned locals from the settlers raid, requesting them to remove their vehicles from the streets through which settlers would pass.

Awarta, which is less than eight kilometers from Nablus, has 14 historic sites, 11 in the village and three on the outskirts, most of them sacred to Muslims.

Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are surrounded by more than 600,000 Israeli settlers residing in at least 196 settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.
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