Settlers attack Palestinians near Bethehem 23Jun10 June 24, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  23 June 2010

Furious after their own government demolished two houses in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian property in the latest incident of the “price tag” phenomenon.

Dozens of residents of the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, in the Bethlehem Governorate, were seen throwing stones and empty bottles at Palestinian homes in Safa, an adjacent village next to the Beit Ummar town north of Hebron.

Israeli soldiers began firing tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at the crowd around dawn, lightly injuring a number of Palestinians, Muhammad Awad, spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Project, told Ma’an. Settlers were prevented from setting fire to fields, he added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces arrived on the scene to disperse the crowd before it became violent.

The more radical of Israel’s 500,000 settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories adhere to the so-called “price tag” policy, in which every perceived injustice carried out by the Israeli authorities, who occasionally intervene on behalf of Palestinians, comes at the “price” of settler violence against local residents.

Wednesday’s violence came just after Israeli forces demolished two settler units installed to protest a deadly attack last year in which a Palestinian man allegedly killed the child of a settler with an ax.

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