Conflicts & War

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian village on West Bank

Jerusalem, Jun 16 (EFE).- There were no casualties Friday when a group of armed Israeli settlers fired shots at Palestinian villagers on the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency said.

The incident took place in Ein Samia, east of Ramallah, Wafa reported.

“As the villagers headed to their farmland in the village, they were shocked to find out that dozens of armed settlers, under army protection, barged their way into the area,” Wafa said, citing unnamed local sources.

“The settlers opened live ammunition and fired barrages of bombs towards the villagers, but there was not any injury,” the agency said.

Responding to a query from EFE, the Israeli military said it had no knowledge of the events in Ein Samia.

The Wafa story referred to a May 22 statement from the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem relating that the last of the roughly 200 Palestinian residents of Ein Samia had been driven out of the village.

“For years, residents of the community have suffered from violence carried out by Israeli forces, from settler violence carried out with the full backing of the State, and from extreme restrictions on building homes and infrastructure, as well as demolitions,” B’Tselem said.

Since 2009, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Israelis have demolished at least 9,537 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, resulting in the forced displacement of 13,795 people.

Another 221 Palestinians have died over the last 15 years in incidents involving Israeli settlers.

Settlers have killed eight Palestinians so far this year, compared with three during the same period in 2022.

In February, the fatal shooting of two settlers by Palestinian militants spurred some 400 settlers armed with knives, poles, and firearms to attack the Palestinian village of Huwara, leaving one person dead and more than 300 injured along with extensive damage.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said at the time that it was overwhelmed and could not restrain the settlers, but CNN reported this week that troops not only failed to protect the Palestinians, they prevented ambulances from entering Huwara and fired tear gas and stun grenades at residents trying to repel the invaders.

In the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli police broke up a protest Friday against plans to evict a Palestinian family from their home.

“Israeli police officers physically assaulted and beat up international, Palestinian and Israeli activists demonstrating in support of the Sub Laban family outside their home in Aqabat al-Khaldia quarter,” Wafa said.

Israel seized control of the West Bank and mainly Arab East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967. EFE yo/dr

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