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Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian home in West Bank

A photo by Palestinian media shows the aftermath of an arson attack on a home in Sinjil town, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, March 26, 2023.

A Palestinian family has survived an incident where Israeli settlers set their house on fire in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian media reports said a group of settlers threw Molotov cocktails at the house of Ahmed Awashreh in Sinjil town, north of Ramallah, at dawn Sunday.

Awashreh said he was woken by the sound of a window smashing and managed to get his four children and wife out before the flames spread. "It was so close. I'm happy I saved my family."

A Sinjil resident told media outlets he saw cars nearby whose occupants he recognized as Jewish settlers minutes before the incident.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry denounced the arson attack and blamed the incident on "terrorist elements."

Israeli settlers carry out arson attacks and paint graffiti on Palestinian property in the West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds under the “price tag” slogan. The price tag attacks are acts of vandalism targeting Palestinians and their property as well as Muslim holy sites.

In 2018, Israel’s so-called High Court of Justice upheld a decision to release a suspect and put him under house arrest in connection with a 2015 arson attack that took the lives of a Palestinian couple and their infant son.

In a separate incident on Saturday, two Israeli soldiers were wounded, the military said, in a drive-by shooting claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), a Palestinian resistance group in the flashpoint town of Huwara in the West Bank.

Huwara has been the focus of attacks by the Israeli military and settlers alike in recent weeks.

In late February, hundreds of armed Israeli settlers attacked Huwara and nearby villages and torched dozens of houses and cars. They were angered by the killing of two Israeli brothers by a Palestinian gunman in the town. One Palestinian was killed and at least 390 injured. Israeli rights groups Peace Now and B’Tselem described the incident as a settler “pogrom” supported by the occupying regime.

Palestinians have been increasingly targeted since late December 2022, when Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power as prime minister of the regime’s most far-right cabinet ever.

Over the past year, Israeli forces have made thousands of arrests in the West Bank and killed more than 250 Palestinians, including resistance fighters and civilians.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called for “international intervention” against Israeli crimes.

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