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Palestinian official: Israeli settlers forming terrorist cells in West Bank for attacks against Palestinian civilians

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)
Palestinians and activists trying to block Route 60, the main Israeli settler road in the West Bank, as a protest against the confiscation of Palestinian land, are dispersed by Israeli forces on March 12, 2021 near the village of Yatta, south of al-Khalil, in the occupied West Bank. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli settlers are forming terrorist cells in the West Bank in order to carry out attacks and acts of terror against the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied territories, a Palestinian official says.  

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel’s settlement expansion activities, said extremist Israeli settlers who are members of the “Price Tag” terror group are currently operating in the northern West Bank city of Salfit, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Monday.

Daghlas said the extremist Israeli settlers are carrying out their acts of vandalism and violence, known as price tag attacks, mainly in several towns located west of Salfit.

Price tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and their property as well as Muslim holy sites by Israeli settlers.

The local Palestinian official noted that Israeli settlers had attacked a resident in the town of Kufr al-Dik, west of Salfit on Sunday afternoon.

He added that two others had also been injured by settlers' bullets while they were on their land in Khallet Hassan area, west of Bidya town, several months ago.

A few weeks ago, Israeli settlers attacked a family in the village of Bruqin and destroyed their vehicle, as well as attacking farmers in al-Ras and al-Marhat area, west of Salfit.

“Settler attacks have increased since the beginning of the year and have become daily, which demands that residents of Salfit and area towns should be vigilant and attentive and form popular protection committees in all towns and villages,” Daghlas said.

He added that the recent incident in Salfit indicates that settlers are "planning criminal acts against civilians, as it is clear that their recent attacks have moved from vandalizing trees and property to attacking people."

Israeli settlers and organizations supporting them are pressing ahead with their settlement expansions in the occupied territories.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

According to human rights groups, acts of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property are a daily occurrence throughout the occupied West Bank.

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