West Bank: A city attacked by Israeli settlers

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West Bank: a city attacked by Israeli settlers

A graveyard of cars set on fire by settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara.

Blackened walls, smashed windows, charred cars: The Palestinian town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank discovered damage from an attack on Monday. the night before by Israeli settlers after two of them were killed by Palestinian gunfire.

Tensions remained high on Monday. The Israeli army reported a new attack that killed a motorist late in the day near Jericho, in the West Bank, and said it was looking for the perpetrators.

The victim is an Israeli who also held US citizenship, according to the US State Department, which has condemned the gruesome murder as well as that of the two Israeli settlers killed Sunday in Huwara.

State Department spokesman Ned Price also condemned large-scale, indiscriminate settler violence against Palestinian civilians following the killings.

“We expect the Israeli government to ensure that those responsible for these attacks are fully held accountable.

—State Dept. Spokesman Ned Price

The violence comes as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sharply escalating and officials on both sides pledged at a Sunday meeting in Jordan to prevent further violence.

On Sunday evening, hundreds of Israeli settlers entered Huwara, a small town in the northern West Bank, where they threw stones at Palestinian homes and set fire to buildings, garbage cans and cars.

In the early morning, a dump looked like a car graveyard with dozens of charred vehicles.

They burned everything they found, resident Kamal Odeh told AFP: They burned down more than 20 buildings, including shops, houses. Even the trees were not spared.

According to Wajeh Odeh, a member of the Huwara municipality, more than 100 cars were set on fire and 30 houses burned or damaged.< /p>

We consider these acts to be acts of terrorism, an Israeli army official said, saying he estimated that 300 to 400 settlers entered the Palestinian city out of revenge.

Eight Israelis have been arrested, most of whom have since been released, according to police.

“He doesn't there can be no justification for terrorism, arson and revenge against civilians.

—Tor Wennesland, UN Mediator for the Middle East

The French Foreign Ministry has deemed the violence, which threatens to spiral out of control, against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, unacceptable. It also strongly condemned the attack which claimed the lives to two Israelis.

The two brothers were driving in Huwara on Sunday afternoon when they were shot and killed in what the Israeli government has described as a Palestinian terror attack. The perpetrators of the attack are still being sought.

A Palestinian was later shot and killed while Israeli forces and settlers were in Zaatara, a village near from Nablus. The army told AFP that they did not shoot him.

Several hundred people attended the funerals of the two slain settlers in Jerusalem on Monday. Their coffins, carried by relatives and soldiers, were draped with Israeli flags.

Rabbi Shmuel Yaniv, the brothers' grandfather, said that even in the face of evil, he must remember that we were all created in the image of God.

On Monday evening, the army said suspected Palestinian terrorists had shot and seriously injured a motorist near Jericho, saying they had set up roadblocks to find the perpetrators of the attack. The 27-year-old was pronounced dead at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

On the violence in Huwara, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he finds intolerable a situation in which citizens are taking the law into their own hands after similar remarks by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, settlement mayors and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

< p class="e-p">At the head of a government that includes several ministers who are themselves settlers, Mr. Netanyahu has called for the security forces to be allowed to carry out their mission.

Des Israeli human rights organizations have denounced a pogrom, backed by the Israeli government, according to Peace Now.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of protecting the terrorist acts perpetrated by settlers.

The Israeli army, which has multiplied for almost a year in the West Bank the operations presented as anti-terrorist, carried out there last Wednesday its deadliest incursion since at least 2005, killing 11 Palestinians.

Since the start of the year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 63 Palestinians (including fighters and civilians, including minors), 13 Israelis (including minors and members of the security forces) and a Ukrainian woman, s according to an AFP count compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources.

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