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Palestinians form defense committees against settler attacks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The picture taken on July 31, 2015 shows Palestinians looking at the damage as they stand in a house set on fire by Israeli settlers and where 18-month-old boy Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh died, in the West Bank town of Duma. (© AFP)

The Palestinian Fatah movement says it has established popular defense committees in the occupied West Bank city of Qalqily to defend Palestinian people against attacks by extremist Israeli settlers.

Mahmoud Walweel, Fatah secretary general in Qalqilya, made the remarks in a press release.

“Fatah decided to form defense committees in all residential areas close to settlement hotbeds. This is in accordance with the Palestinian leadership’s approach to ensure that extremist settler groups are not successful in their attacks against our people across the city,” Walweel said.

The Palestinian official also highlighted the importance of “raising the level of preparedness” as well as “mobilizing popular and official efforts” in a bid to thwart violence by extremist settlers against Palestinian citizens.

He further called for the participation of all Palestinians in efforts aimed at “foiling any potential attacks by all means necessary available and in any way legal under international law.”

Israeli settlers have recently escalated their assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem) under the “price tag” slogan.

Price tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and their properties as well as Islamic holy sites. 

Palestinian youths carry a mock coffin of 18-month-old boy Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh as they hold a symbolic funeral in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, August 1, 201. (© AP)


In one instance on July 31, a large fire broke out after settlers threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the town of Duma, located 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of the West Bank city of Nablus.

The arson attack killed 18-month-old boy Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh immediately and his 32-year-old father, who succumbed to his burns, one week later. His wife, Riham and four-year-old son Ahmad remain in critical condition in hospital.

The deadly incident sparked angry reactions from different Palestinian factions and the international community, even the Israeli regime’s close allies.

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