Palestinian homes in Nablus set on fire by Israeli settlers Palestinian homes in Nablus set on fire by Israeli settlers. Photo: Issa Amro / Twitter

Sara Sammak reports on the latest attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank

On Sunday evening, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian homes, shops and cars in Hawara, a northern town in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. According to The Palestine Red Crescent Society, over 30 homes were completely burned down, 40 others damaged, and 100 cars were destroyed during the rampage that caused widespread damage.

A 37 year old man was shot and killed, while many others were severely injured, including two Palestinians who were shot and wounded, another stabbed, and one critically beaten with an iron bar. Some 95 others were also being treated for teargas inhalation, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. It is estimated 400 Jewish settlers took part in the attack.

The incident came the day after two settlers were fatally shot by a Palestinian man. Earlier this month, 11 Palestinians were killed, including a child, and nearly 100 injured in Nablus after yet another Israeli military raid.

President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the incident in what he called “the terrorist acts carried out by settlers under the protection of the occupation forces tonight. We hold the Israeli government fully responsible”.

The EU stated it was “alarmed” by the violence in Huwara and that “authorities on all sides must intervene now to stop this endless cycle of violence”. On Sunday, Palestinian and Israeli officials began talks to take measures of de-escalation as a meeting took place in Jordan. The meeting was also joined by United States, Egyptian and Jordanian officials, which took place in the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba.

The recent events have once again highlighted the ongoing tensions in the region and the destructive impact of such acts of violence. The West Bank has been home to many illegal settlements, including the vicinity of Hawara, where many Palestinian properties are continuously vandalised by Israeli settlers.

British MP Jeremy Corbyn said “Palestinians face ongoing violence, oppression and displacement under an increasingly authoritarian regime. We need consistent and ethical foreign policy that defends international law, condemns human rights abuses wherever they appear, and secures peace around the world.”

Israel has long been criticised for ongoing war crimes and human rights violations. There must be a concerted effort to address these issues if peace is to ever be achieved.

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Sara Sammak

Sara Sammak is a British Palestinian activist who works with the Stop the War Coalition and writes for Counterfire

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