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Palestinians ‘need popular units’ in face of settlers’ attacks in occupied West Bank

Israeli forces stand in front of Jewish settlers who are harassing Palestinians in the West Bank [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli forces stand in front of Jewish settlers who are harassing Palestinians in the West Bank [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Palestinian factions in the West Bank called on Sunday for the formation of “national units” to face the attacks by extremist Jewish settlers on villages and neighbourhoods across the occupied territory, Quds Press has reported. According to Isam Baker, the coordinator of the factions in Ramallah, this call comes after an increase in the number of settlers’ attacks on the Palestinians and their properties, including mosques, cemeteries and vehicles.

The popular units, explained Baker, would work within the “spirit” of the first intifada and the village councils for their basic needs. Guarding the villages at night, the units would warn the people of any attacks by settlers.

The factions, noted Baker, are calling for the reinforcement of national unity and plan to hold a protest in front of the Red Cross Headquarters on Tuesday in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention by Israel. They also called for the Palestinians in the West Bank to take to the streets next Friday to match the Great March of Return demonstrations being staged in Gaza to reinforce the right of return.

Attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers, mainly those by gangs under the “Price Tag” banner, have increased recently. The latest attack took place last night in Beith Eksa village, to the north-west of occupied Jerusalem. The group behind such attacks is encouraged and supported by local rabbis, and has never been punished by Israel’s occupation authorities. Israeli peace activists and journalists have revealed the links between the “Price Tag” gangs and Israeli officials on several occasions.

Read: Israel soldiers joined in as settlers assaulted Palestinians

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