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Palestinian bus destroyed by settlers throwing stones, five injured

28 December 2009

Settlers launched an attack on a Palestinian bus near Zatara checkpoint today, injuring five and damaging the vehicle beyond repair.

Hale Yusef Abu Jabar left the northern West Bank city of Jenin at 3pm this afternoon, his fully-packed service-taxi carrying seven passengers bound for Ramallah. As they approached Zatara checkpoint south of Nablus, the settlement of Yitzhar to their west, waiting settlers descended from the adjacent hill and hurled stones at the vehicle.

Abu Jabar swerved the car, attempting to dodge the rocks as they punctured the windows and hit his terrified passengers, causing the car to topple. The attack occurred in clear sight of soldiers manning Zatara checkpoint, who continued to watch from their vantage point as settlers fled the scene, returning to the settlement.

Red Crescent medics arrived shortly thereafter, transporting victims to Al-Ittihad Hospital in Nablus. The 5 injured were Abu Jabar, Rifad Jamal Diad Sayid, Abdullah Mustafa Arafi, Iyed Haris Mustafa Sare and Salaam Machmoud. For Abu Jabar, the injuries to his body is secondary to the financial damage, his service-taxi written off by the attack.

Settler violence has sharply increased this month, with reports of settlers launching many strikes on Palestinians, their vehicles and property in the area. On the front line of the violence is notorious Yitzhar settlement, ill-famed for its ideological residents and their repeated targeting of neighbouring Palestinian villages.