Settlers 'pelt family with stones' near Hebron

12:00 Mar 31 2012 Beit Ommar (Bayt Immar, Beit Ummar)

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian farmer from Beit Ummar and his family were pelted with stones by Israelis from a nearby settlement on Saturday, a local spokesman said.

Muhammad Abed al-Hammed Jaber al-Slaibi, 67, was tending land near the Bat Ayin settlement with his children, when dozens of masked settlers approached and threw stones, Mohammed Ayyad Awad said.

The family abandoned its tractor and ran from the field, he added.

Al-Slaibi protested that the area is overseen by a number of Israeli military towers, but soldiers failed to intervene in the attack.

Also on Saturday, four Palestinians were hospitalized in the northern West Bank after they were attacked by Israeli settlers near Ramallah. The settlers beat the group with batons and metal chains, locals said.

Settler violence against Palestinians is on the rise. In 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that settler attacks had increased by 50 percent over the previous year.

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