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An Israeli soldier scuffles with a Palestinian farmer as villagers are prevented from working on their lands in the West Bank village of Tuqua on May 30, 2012. (File photo)
Sat Sep 8, 2012 10:52PM GMT
A group of illegal Jewish settlers along with Israeli soldiers has attacked Palestinian farmers in the occupied Palestinian territory of West Bank, injuring three of them.

Israeli soldiers and settlers scuffled with Palestinians as they prevented them from working on their lands. Israeli troops even fired gun shots during the clashes on Saturday.

The incident came two days after several Jewish settlers assaulted a number of Palestinians in Qasra village, which is located south of Nablus.

Head of the village council Abd al-Atheem said on September 6 that the illegal settlers, under Israeli soldiers’ protection, attacked the southern part of the village and pointed their guns at Palestinians to make them leave their lands.

He added that Israeli troops demanded Palestinians to show all their records of land ownership.

Rights groups have repeatedly accused Israeli troops of refusing to protect Palestinians against the Jewish settlers. Former West Bank Division Commander Brigadier General Nitzan Alon has also said that Israeli soldiers have not been working enough to stop settler attacks on Palestinians.

Israeli settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms and set fire to their mosques, olive groves and other properties in the occupied West Bank under the so-called “price tag” policy. However, the Tel Aviv regime rarely detains the assailants.

The extremists say the “price tag” attacks are carried out against any Israeli policy “to reduce the presence of settlers and settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

The Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries because those territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967, and are hence seen as being subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

Not only has the presence and continued expansion of these settlements been a major source of international criticism against Israel, but they are also considered one of the main obstacles to Middle East peace.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).