Israeli settlers burn Palestinian home, cars
Israeli settlers damaged cars and tried to burn down a house in Palestinian villages in the West Bank Monday night and Tuesday, police told CNN. The actions followed removal of three illegal shacks in a Jewish settlement.
These incidents are what some Israelis call "price tag" actions: Any activity against settlements and outposts is met by violence against Palestinian property.
Israeli police removed three illegal shacks Monday in the Jewish outpost of Havat Gilad. Police and civil administration representatives were stoned by the settlers on the scene. Eight people were arrested in the incident, Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.
Monday night, Israeli settlers blocked roads in Jerusalem, demonstrating against the outpost's removal. The demonstrators burned tires and clashed with police. Twenty-three demonstrators were arrested, Rosenfeld said. Three other settlers were arrested in the West Bank, he said.
There were also several incidents of torching cars in villages around Hebron on Monday night. On Tuesday, people tried to burn down a house in the village Hiwara, south of Nablus.
The incidents are under investigation, Rosenfeld said.
"We call upon the international community not to remain silent ... the people call us on a daily basis to protect their lives because they are afraid (of) the settlers," said Ghassan Douglass, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlement activity north of the West Bank.
The Palestinian owner of the burned house, Rami Edmaidi, told CNN that a group of Israeli settlers broke the window with an iron club, threw a Molotov cocktail into the bedroom and fled. Due to the thick smoke, his brother and sister-in-law had to be taken to the hospital for breathing problems, he said.
Edmaidi said this is not the first time incidents like this have occurred. "Yesterday my uncle's house was also attacked by the same settlers."
Douglass told CNN the situation has worsened since February 18, when the United States vetoed a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. "This Thursday the (Israeli) right wing are calling for the day of rage. There isn't any international party able to stop them either."
American-sponsored talks between Israelis and Palestinians fell apart in September when Israel resumed settlement construction in the occupied West Bank after a 10-month freeze.
Palestinians have indicated they will not resume talks until all Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is frozen.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israel, which annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967, considers the entire city to be its sovereign capital, a claim not recognized by many in the international community.