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Israeli settlers attack five West Bank villages

ISRAELI settlers attacked five villages in the occupied West Bank today, torching vehicles and olive trees and leaving graffiti on the walls of homes, Palestinian officials said.

Nablus governorate spokesman Ghassan Daghlas said that the  settlers set fire to five cars and spray-painted graffiti on more than 20 others.

Villagers circulated photos of the damage on social media.

Israeli police say they are investigating the reports and that police and military units will visit the area.

Around 600,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal settlements in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.

Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property are common. The latest violence follows threats from Israel’s sleaze-dogged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the part of the Jordan Valley which belongs to Palestine, following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that the US no longer considers Israeli settlements on Palestinian land illegal.

Israel has allocated 86 per cent of the Jordan Valley to settlements.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Palestinian health authorities said a man died of wounds he sustained in an Israeli air strike earlier this month that killed eight members of his family. The Gaza Health Ministry identified the man as 40-year-old Mohammed Abu Malhous.

Those killed in the air raid included two women and five children under the age of 13.

The bombing raid came during two days of fighting ignited by Israel’s targeted killing of a commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group. The fighting killed 35 Palestinians and no Israelis.

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