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Settler attacks against Palestinian property up 200%

There has been a rise of more than 200 per cent in the crimes of extremist Israeli Jewish groups such as Price Tag against Palestinian property in the past three months, reports have said.

The groups attack mosques, churches, damage cemeteries and tombstones, damage cars and vandalise property by writing "death to Arabs", "kill all non-Jews" and sign their name.

Attacks of these extremist groups started in the West Bank and, as they used to go unpunished, their attacks extended to reach Jerusalem and Palestinian property in Israel. The last target of their attack was the St. George's Catholic Church in Jerusalem.

Researcher Khalid Ma'ali said attacks have decreased in the West Bank and increased in Israel. He noted several reasons for that, the main being the formation of popular protection committees which guard areas and repel settlers. Because of this, settlers have been forced to find alternative places to carry out their attacks, so they have turned to Palestinian property within Israel.

Ma'ali said settlers who carry out these attacks go unpunished. He cited an example of the detention of three settlers from Yitzhar settlement near Nablus while they were cutting Palestinian olive trees. "They were released on the same day," he said.

Ma'ali counted 31 mosques that have been torched or vandalised since 2009. Some of them were completely damaged. He said that not holding perpetrators accountability for their attacks against the religious sites might lead to a fierce religious war.

The Israeli government turns a blind eye for the aggressive acts of these extremist settlers. This has aroused the anger of the Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who called for putting an end to this kind of extremism.

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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