Israeli settlers block main highway near central West Bank village

12:00 Apr 30 2017 near Sinjil

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers blocked the main highway between the occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus on Sunday afternoon under Israeli police and military protection, locals told Ma’an.

Residents of the village of Sinjil in the Ramallah district said that dozens of settlers, accompanied by large numbers of Israeli army and police forces, blocked off the road near the entrance of the village.

The locals said that the settlers were there after some Israeli vehicles were damaged by stone-throwing near Sinjil on Friday. They added that Israeli forces then stormed Sinjil and detained a number of young men, also confiscating 12 undocumented vehicles.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 221 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2015, and 107 in 2016.
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