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US Labels Israeli Settler Violence As Terrorism For First Time


In its annual report on terrorism around the world, the US State Department has defined violence by Israeli settlers towards Palestinians as terrorism for the first time, Israeli media reported on Saturday.

The 2011 US Country Report cites three suspected “price tag” incidents: vandalism of Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery, and arson attacks on a Jerusalem and West Bank mosque, Israeli daily Haaretz said.

The report noted that ten other attacks on Palestinian mosques are believed by Israeli authorities to have been “perpetrated by settlers, up from six such incidents in 2010 and one in 2009.”

Israeli–Palestinian Conflict: Central Israel next to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israeli–Palestinian Conflict: Central Israel next to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Price tag refers to the retribution settlers say they will exact for any attempt by the Israeli government to curb settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile the US State Department spokeswoman condemned “in the strongest possible terms” an assault south of Bethlehem on Thursday which left a family of five seriously injured after Israeli settlers hurled Molotov cocktails at their car.

“We note that the government of Israel has also condemned this heinous attack and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice. We look to Israeli law enforcement officials to do so expeditiously,” Victoria Nuland said on Friday.

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Launched in 2005, Ma'an News Agency (MNA) publishes news around the clock in Arabic and English, and is among the most browsed websites in the Palestinian territories, with over 3 million visits per month.

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