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PA suspends school trips after settlers attack buses

18:00 Apr 30 2013 Nablus area

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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority officials condemned an attack by settlers on a Nablus-area mosque on Tuesday, as tensions rise in the northern West Bank following the fatal stabbing of a settler.

Mahmoud al-Habbash, minister of Waqf and religious affairs, slammed the attack against al-Ribat mosque in Urif village, saying the Israeli government encouraged settler violence by providing soldiers to protect them.

Villagers have begun to fix the mosque after the attack, he added, condemning Israeli aggression against Palestinian holy sites.

Meanwhile, the PA Ministry of Education issued a statement that all school trips will be suspended on Wednesday after two buses carrying school girls were attacked by settlers, injuring five people.

Masked settlers burned tires at road junctions in Nablus, hurled stones at Palestinian cars, and set fire to dozens of olive trees following the fatal stabbing of a settler earlier in the day.

PA official Ghassan Daghlas urged Palestinians to exercise extreme caution while driving near settlements, adding that he expects more attacks to take place during the day.

A settler was stabbed to death as he waited at a hitchhiking spot south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

Israeli border police sped to the area and fired towards the attacker, who grabbed his victim's weapon and returned fire but was eventually disarmed and taken into custody, an Israeli police spokeswoman said.
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