Settlers beat elderly farmer near Nablus

07:00 Dec 3 2011 east of Nablus, near Itamar settlement

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers assaulted a 60-year-old man cultivating land in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Najih Abdul-Qadir was tilling his fields near the illegal Itamar settlement east of Nablus when a group of ultra-orthodox Israelis approached him and beat him severely, PA settlement monitoring official Ghassan Doughlas told Ma'an.

Abdul-Qadir was moved off his lands by the group, Douglas added.

Settlers from Itamar have violently blocked Palestinians from tending land near the compound, where a young couple was stabbed to death along with three of their young children in March.

Amjad Awad was found guilty of the killings by an Israeli court on Monday, and his cousin Hakim Awad has been jailed for life for the murders.

Palestinians say the Israelis living inside the West Bank exercise a violent campaign against them with virtual impunity from Israel's army, to intimidate them and push them from their lands.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements 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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