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Settler mob attacks Palestinian vehicles near Nablus

17:00 Sep 12 2011 Yitzhar settlement, south of Nablus

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Hundreds of settlers rallied at a main road near the illegal settlement of Yitzhar in Nablus on Monday night, closing the road and pelting Palestinian vehicles with stones, witnesses said.

Ultra-orthodox settlers also chanted slogans against Arabs and Palestinians, according to witnesses.

There has been as escalation in settler attacks over the past few weeks, with the Nablus district particularly affected by the violence.

On Sept. 5, settlers broke into a mosque south of Nablus, smashing windows before setting fire to used tires inside the building.

Hebrew-language graffiti reading "Mohammad is a pig" and the star of David was sprayed on the building.

On Sept. 7, settlers then vandalized an Israeli army base in the first reported case of "price tag" attacks carried out against Israeli forces, the army said.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina said after the mosque attack that the recent escalation in settler violence was an attempt to thwart the bid to join the UN in September.

Some 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians in the same territory.

All settlements are considered illegal under international law.
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