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Israeli settlers attempt take over of Jerusalem home

12:00 Jun 22 2011 Beit Safafa neighborhood of east Jerusalem.

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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Beit Safafa family said several members were brutally beaten by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning, in an attack that was said to have lasted four hours starting just after midnight.

The Zawahra family lives adjacent to an Israeli settler outpost known as Giv’at Hamtous, located in a Palestinian home confiscated through a court process which observers said used spurious documents showing ownership.

Akram Zawahra told Ma'an that shortly after midnight a group of settlers from the home forcibly entered the Zawahra building in what he described as an attempt to take over the home and expand the settlement.

The man's 27-year-old brother was stabbed and later run over by the settlers, causing severe bleeding and a break to his right leg. He was taken to the Makassed Hospital and then was transferred to the Hadassah Hospital for surgery, his brother said.

Three other members of the family, including Akram, his wife Ala'a and son Farouq were also injured, he said, noting the home sustained damages during the family's attempt to keep he settlers out.

Police arrived at the home hours after the attack began, Akram said, detaining him and three sons, who were all taken to the local police station and interrogated he said. The men were released on bail several hours later.

Israeli police spokesman said he had no knowledge of the incident.

Akram said police remain in the home, which is being held pending a review by officers and border police.

The neighborhood of Beit Safafa is located within the West Bank, on the eastern side of the 1967 borders, but was illegally annexed as part of Israel's municipality of Jerusalem in the 1980s.
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