Palestinians detain 3 armed Israeli settlers near Nablus, turn them over to Israeli officials

12:00 May 12 2014 Burin

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Palestinians on Monday detained three Israeli settlers who were driving quad bikes through a village in the northern West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that three settlers entered the Nablus-area village of Burin on four-wheelers and "provoked" residents.

Palestinians stopped the settlers and "detained" them in an apartment in the village before contacting the PA security services, Daghlas said.

The PA liaison department then delivered the settlers to Israeli officials.

A spokeswoman for Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed the incident, saying the settlers rode into Burin "accidentally."

"The settlers were taken out from the village by the Palestinians to the hands of the (Israeli) Civil Administration without any damage. In this moment they are handling the extraction of the ATVs from the village," Sapir Mizrahi said.

She confirmed that the settlers were armed and said that it was illegal for Israeli settlers to enter Palestinian villages.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Israeli police were "looking into the circumstances of how they (the settlers) accidentally entered Burin."

Israeli settlers regularly make their way onto Palestinian land in the West Bank, often in attempts to damage Palestinian property.

In March, Palestinian farmers detained an Israeli settler after they caught him chopping down olive trees in their fields near the Nablus-district village of Talfit.

In January, farmers from the Nablus town of Qusra held some 18 settlers captive after they tried to uproot olive trees in the village.

The settlers were later transferred to Israeli military forces via Palestinian liaison officials.

Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank, and Israeli authorities rarely investigate crimes carried out by settlers against Palestinian communities.
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