Several have been injured amidst a wave of escalating violence against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and settlers across the West Bank region. At least five Palestinians were abducted by Israeli forces during predawn and night raids in the southern West Bank, according to local sources.A group of Israeli settlers, on Sunday, assaulted Palestinian herders while they were grazing their sheep near Nablus, local sources say.

The Anti-Settlement Committee’s Hamza Deriya stated that settlers attacked three herders in the village of Aqraba, south of Nablus, beating and attempting to abduct them before local residents finally fended off the assault.

Just hours before, another group of illegal settlers attacked Palestinians working at a Jerusalem vegetable stand, with metal rods and wooden sticks.

Despite the attack, police detained a number Palestinians, while neglecting to apprehend any of the settlers which, WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency reports, is typical police behavior when settlers conduct similar attacks against Palestinians.

Yesterday, settlers driving a car east of Qalqilia also attempted to attack and kidnap a Palestinian youth while he was on his way to work.

Several calls were reportedly made by Palestinian activists, urging people to be careful and take caution against revenge attacks in light of the current tension in the Palestinian territories, particularly Jerusalem.

In related news, another Palestinian sheep herder was killed, Sunday, after an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army detonated.

Witnesses said 44-year-old Ahmad Abdul-Rahman Sheikh was grazing his flock of sheep near the village of Bardala, to the east of Tubas, near the border with Jordan, when a ‘weird device’ exploded, injuring him in the head and the chest.

He was taken to an Israeli hospital in critical condition, where he later died of his wounds.

The area is said to be used for Israeli military exercises on regular basis. Witnesses note that the last training operation took place only two days ago.

To the northeast of Ramallah, Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian home, early Sunday, an official told Ma’an News Agency.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, stated that a group of extremist settlers raided the village of Khirbet Abu Falah and torched the home of Abd al-Karim Hussein Hamayil.

The settlers threw a fire bomb into the house through a window before fleeing the scene, Daghlas said.

Hamayil’s widow and her three daughters were reportedly inside the house at the time of the attack.

Settlers also spray-painted ‘death to Arabs’ and ‘vengeance’ on the house in Hebrew. A number of rooms were torched, but no injuries were reported.

Daghlas added that the settlers first attacked the house with tear gas and stun grenades before attempting to break in, without providing further details.

Meanwhile, in Hebron, Israeli soldiers shot and injured a Palestinian journalist with a rubber-coated bullet, in the southern West Bank, on Sunday, while he was covering a peaceful demonstration by Palestinian locals, according to local sources.

WAFA correspondence reported that Israeli soldiers opened fire at Abdul-Hafiz al-Hashlamoun, a press photographer, and injured him with a rubber-coated bullet in the foot while being present on Shuhadaa Street, to cover a Palestinian demonstration in protest of the army’s closure of the street since last Friday.

Forces stationed at the blockaded entrance also prevented students from crossing in order to attend school, assaulting residents who gathered to demand their right to cross and reach their workplaces and schools.

To be noted, around 16 Palestinian journalists were targeted and killed by Israeli forces during the July assault on Gaza, in grave violation of human rights.

UN Resolution 68/163 of December 18, 2013 specifically states:

“Condemns unequivocally all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, as well as intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations; … [and]
Urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction, and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.”

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WAFA further reports that the Israeli army took into custody, Sunday, at least five Palestinians during predawn and night raids in the southern West Bank.

Forces stormed Hebron city and the nearby town of Dura, where they conducted searches, abducting Feras Dweik, 24, Mohammad Fayyad Ziro, 21, and Yazan Masharqa, 16. The young men were reportedly led to an unknown destination.

Meanwhile, in Um Salmouna, to the south of Bethlehem, the army kidnapped two Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses. They were identified as Ali Taqatqa, age 20, and Mahmoud Hayyan, 22.

Forces further raided the village of Wadi Fukin, to the west of Bethlehem, where they served a notice to appear for interrogation, at Gush Etzion complex, to a local resident.