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Palestinian Authority blames Netanyahu for persisting settler terrorism in West Bank

European diplomats check a Palestinian building that was torched by extremist Israeli settlers, during a visit to Turmus Ayya, near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on June 23, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has held Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully responsible for persisting terrorism by Zionist settlers against Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, saying the ongoing violence is fueled by his far-right cabinet members Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The Palestinian foreign ministry further declared in a Saturday statement that the surge in Israeli crimes “reflects a policy adopted by the far-right Netanyahu administration, and is also a direct reflection of the campaigns of incitement to murder Palestinians, especially by extremist racists like Ben-Gvir and his followers.”

“The ruling Israeli coalition systematically undermines any regional and international efforts to restore the political horizon to resolve the conflict and creates more escalation in an attempt to impose the logic of military occupation,” the statement added as quoted in a report by WAFA news agency.

Earlier on Saturday, several houses and vehicles were set on fire by extremist Israeli settlers in the village of Umm Safa, north of Ramallah.

The report further cited local sources as saying that scores of Israeli settlers, some armed with rifles and guarded by Israeli army forces, stormed the village and fired indiscriminately at everything they came across, including homes and vehicles.

The ministry also called on the international community to stop its double standards in dealing with international principles, resolutions and agreements signed under the auspices of world bodies.

The shooting attack also caused damage to an ambulance. A paramedic was slightly injured by a gunshot while moving a patient in critical condition to a hospital.

Israeli soldiers and settlers have been escalating their terror attacks against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories, in an attempt to forcibly expel Palestinians from their lands and make way for expanding illegal Zionist-only settlements.

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

All the settlements are considered illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned in numerous resolutions the Israeli regime's settlement constructions in the occupied territories.

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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