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Israeli soldiers protect settlers as incursions spread across occupied Palestinian territories

February 17, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hundreds of Israeli settlers entered Nablus at dawn on Wednesday to perform Jewish religious rituals in the Tomb of Joseph. The illegal settlers were protected by a heavy Israeli security force presence even though the city is supposed to be under Palestinian Authority control.

Angry local citizens threw stones at the settlers and were met with tear gas and rubber bullets fired by the security forces in response. A number of Palestinians are reported to be suffering from breathing difficulties as a result of tear gas inhalation.

Further south in the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops entered Beit Amer near Hebron and arrested two men. A spokesman for the Popular Committee Against Settlements in Hebron, Mohammed Awad, said that the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at neighbours of the men who came onto the streets in protest at the arrests. Awad named the men as Montaser and Mohammed Ikhlayel, both aged 19.

In Gaza, meanwhile, under cover of heavy gunfire, Israeli tanks and bulldozers led a military incursion of the eastern outskirts of Al-Burij refugee camp in the middle of the besieged Strip. Witnesses reported that the bulldozers razed farmland owned by Iyad abu-Itiwe and Abu-Adnan abu-Isa’yed. No casualties were reported.