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Pres. spox: Palestinians will not allow settlers attacks to continue, can defend their rights

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has strongly denounced the rising violent attacks by Israeli forces and extremist settlers across the occupied territories, stressing that Palestinians have a lawful right to resist Israel's occupation of their lands.

In a statement released on Sunday, Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the rising violence by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the occupied West Bank needs to be stopped, adding, “We will not allow the assaults by Israeli occupation and its settlers against our people to continue.”

“Our people have the tools to defend their rights, and no one should underestimate the potential and the determination of our people,” he added

On Saturday night, Israeli settlers and troops attacked the villages of Burqa, Sebastia and Bazariya in the occupied West Bank province of Nablus, injuring nearly 250 people during fierce clashes with Palestinians. Soldiers targeted them with live bullets, rubber-coated rounds, stun grenades and teargas.

Burqa and the nearby villages have been flashpoint of clashes in recent days. They sit near the site of a former settlement. The Israeli military destroyed that settlement in 2005. But now the settlers say they want to return.

Abu Rudeineh further said that the Tel Aviv regime was playing with fire by committing crimes against Palestinians across the occupied lands.

“The current situation resulting from Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories is like playing with fire and is unacceptable, and we will not allow it to continue,” he said.

The spokesman vowed to confront all plots and conspiracies being devised against Palestinian nation.

“No force can impose on the Palestinian people what to do. The Palestinian people have the ability and determination to thwart all conspiracies being hatched against the [Palestinian] cause.”

Abu Rudeineh urged the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, “to intervene urgently to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, as Israel cannot continue to act as a state above the law.”

“The upcoming PLO Central Council session will pave the way to a new phase, in the event that the Israeli regime insists on continuing its aggressive policies against the Palestinian people, and in the event and the international community remains silent about these repeated crimes,” he pointed out.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abu Rudeineh stressed the need “to work to pressure the Israeli regime to stop settlements and curb the settlers’ attacks, which mainly aim to thwart international efforts aimed at reviving the political process.”

Palestinian groups and activists have warned that Israel’s practices and settler “assaults” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank will lead to a new intifada (uprising).

Hamas and other Palestinian factions, meanwhile, have renewed their call for stepping up “all forms of resistance” against Israel.

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, stepped up its criticism of the Israeli regime in the wake of the growing violence by its troops and settlers in the West Bank.

Tensions have been running high in the occupied territories for months over Israel’s settlement activities and its planned eviction of Palestinian families from their ancestral homes.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented hundreds of settlers’ attacks against Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank this year alone.

In a 43-page report released last month, the advocacy group revealed that Israel had been using settler violence as a “strategy” to take over the occupied West Bank and expel Palestinians from their own land.

According to B’s telemedicine, Israel has for years clearly allowed its settlers to assault Palestinians and inflict damage on their property as one of its policies. This has included provision of military protection for the attackers, and in some cases troopers’ active participation in the assault.

Tel Aviv has been criticized for its extensive use of lethal force and extrajudicial killing of Palestinians who do not pose an immediate threat to its forces or to settlers.

Israeli troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera, brutally killing Palestinians, with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.

The Israeli regime occupied the West Bank in 1967 before starting to dot the Palestinian territory with illegal settlements and severely restricting the Palestinians’ freedom of movement there.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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