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NABLUS (Ma’an) — Dozens of settlers raided the northern West Bank village Qusra overnight Monday, uprooting more than 190 olive trees, an official told Ma’an.
Several residents of the village, near Nablus, were assaulted, and homes and a tractor were also damaged in the raid, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas said.
Palestinian security guards chased the settlers, and detained four of them for a short period of time. The Israeli forces quickly intervened, entered the village, and released the settlers, Daghlas said.
Prominent members of Israel‘s ruling Likud party have proposed the annexation of part of the West Bank as the battle for rightwing votes intensifies before the general election in less than three weeks.
Government minister Yuli Edelstein told a conference in Jerusalem that the lack of Israeli sovereignty over Area C – the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli military control in which all settlements are situated – “strengthens the international community’s demand for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines”.
Ze’ev Elkin, the chairman of the governing coalition, said Israel should adopt a “salami” approach to annexation. “We will try to apply sovereignty over as much as we can at any given moment,” he said.
Dr. Essam el-Erian, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official and adviser to the Egyptian president, has called on Jews who left Egypt to return, as “Israel will be destroyed within a decade” • A spokesman for President Mohammed Morsi says the presidency is not responsible for El-Erian’s statements, and that he does not speak on the president’s behalf.
(Image: Female settlers throwing stones – Ma’an News Agency)