PA: Settlers attack 2 Palestinians in Nablus

18:00 Sep 13 2011 near Rafedia, south of nablus

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinians on Tuesday evening in the northern West Bank, Palestinian Authority officials said.

PA settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas said residents of the illegal Yitzhar settlement attacked Iyad Sanakreh and Salah Sanakrah, from Balata refugee camp.

They were taken to Rafedia Hospital with serious injuries, Doughlas said.

The Nablus district has been particularly affected by a recent surge in settler attacks.

In September, settlers in Nablus have vandalized two mosques and an Israeli army base, uprooted olive trees and set fire to cars.

In Qusra, south of Nablus, young men have formed a committee to guard the entrances to the village after settlers torched a mosque and sprayed graffiti on the walls insulting the prophet Muhammad.

Head of the village local council Hani Ismail told Ma’an that local youths volunteered to join the committee which was requested by the governor of Nablus, Jibreel Al-Bakri. Ismail says the council provides the guards with logistics, food, and means of communication.

Ismail said local guards stopped armed settlers from attacking the village on Tuesday from the south, the same route they used when attacking the mosque. The guards, he said, chased the settlers who fled the scene.

Meanwhile, news reports said two weeks ago that Israeli forces were arming settlers with tear-gas canisters, stun grenades and even trained dogs to counter potential attacks by the Palestinians.

Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 Israeli police investigations of settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

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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