Hundreds of Israeli settlers storm Palestinian village, prevent prayers
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the occupied West Bank village of Kifl Haris, preventing Palestinian Muslims from conducting evening prayers at their local Mosque and vandalising property for hours.
The mayor of Kifl Haris, located in northeast of the occupied Salfit, Essam Abu Yaqoub, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that Israeli settlers, backed up by heavily armed forces stormed the village just before night prayers were due, preventing Muslims attending their local mosque.
Abu Yaqub said that the settlers stormed the village to pray at tomb of Joshua and Caleb, located inside the village. He added that settlers ransacked the village, and damaged properties and vehicles of the Palestinian residents.
All this was done in the presence of Israeli forces who did nothing to prevent the riot.
They also rang the doorbells of houses during anti-social hours to deprive Palestinians of sleep, Abu Yaqub added, saying the village's municipality has documented the crimes committed to make a formal complaint to the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinians inside the village were unable to leave until the Israeli forces withdrew at 5am (local time) on Thursday.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
All Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank are classed as illegal under international law, particularly Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which asserts that "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".
Israeli forces and settlers routinely attack Palestinians in the occupied territories, demolishing their homes, poisoning their livestock and vandalising properties.
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab