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Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars, injure 2 Palestinians

Nov. 14, 2017 2:16 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2017 2:22 P.M.)
Israeli settlers (File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles with stones as the cars passed near the Huwwara Israeli military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency that a group of settlers gathered near Huwwara checkpoint hurled stones at Palestinian license-plated vehicles, resulting in the injury of two people.

The injured were all reportedly treated at the scene.

Meanwhile, Wafa reported that other settlers attacked farmers tending their land in the village of Kufr Qalil village, to the south of Nablus near the Huwwara checkpoint. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated their crackdown on Palestinian youth who are caught throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, detaining hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone throwing every year.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, "93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months."

Palestinian stone throwers face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, with Israel passing laws in 2015 allowing for up to 20 years in prison if charged with throwing stones at vehicles and a minimum of three years for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli -- legislation rights groups say was designed specifically to target Palestinians, as Israelis and settlers are rarely prosecuted under the same standards of the law.

A Palestinian youth was sentenced to 18 years in prison in January for allegedly throwing a rock at an Israeli vehicle -- representing the harshest sentence ever handed down for stone throwing.

Palestinians have claimed that rock throwing by teenagers represents a natural reaction to the frustrations caused by the nearly half-century Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which has been shaped by everyday forms of violence, such as nightly military raids into Palestinian communities, arbitrary detentions, home demolitions, and frequent killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

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