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Israel settler violence ‘on the rise’ this year, says UN

Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages[

Violence by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has been increasing in 2018, according to the latest update by United Nations monitors on the ground.

In its latest fortnightly report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory documented a number of serious recent incidents.

Over a two-week period (13-26 February), 16 Palestinians were injured and various Palestinian property “lost or damaged in attacks and raids by Israeli settlers”, says UN OCHA.

Four of the incidents occurred in Einabus and Asira al Qibliya villages near Nablus, the agency said, “reportedly by settlers from Yitzhar, Bracha and their surrounding outposts”.

These incidents “involved the physical assault and injury of a 91-year-old man, the killing of 17 sheep and theft of another 37, and the vandalizing of a house”.

Meanwhile, “in the same area”, five Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces, “during clashes that erupted after Israeli settlers raided the village”.

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In addition, “in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron city, Israeli settlers stoned three Palestinian houses and, in subsequent clashes, injured six Palestinians, including two children.”

Another four Palestinian men were “physically assaulted and injured by settlers in four separate incidents elsewhere in the West Bank”, and six Palestinian-owned vehicles were also damaged in five stone-throwing incidents by settlers.

According to UN OCHA, “settler violence has been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of six attacks, compared to an average of three in 2017 and two in 2016.”

In 2018 to date, up to 26 February, there have been 25 settler attacks on Palestinians that involved property damage, and 13 incidents that involved Palestinian casualties.

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