Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh yesterday denounced the ‘heinous crimes’ committed on Sunday by Zionist settlers in the northern West Bank town of Huwara near Nablus and surrounding villages.
At least one Palestinian was killed and dozens more injured during organised settler attacks there.
More than 30 homes and scores of cars were set ablaze, with Israeli forces granting armed settlers open access to the Palestinian town.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah yesterday, the Prime Minister said: ‘Last night settlers practised the most heinous forms of crimes, including killings, setting fire to properties, and terrorising women and children.’
Shtayyeh praised the Palestinian people in Huwara and other neighbourhoods for their steadfastness and for standing firm in the face of settlers.
He called for re-activating the protection committees throughout the West Bank in light of the heinous crimes committed by fascist colonialists with the guidance of ministers in the Israeli government.
With regard to the Israeli parliament’s preliminary approval of a death penalty law for Palestinian prisoners, Shtayyeh stressed: ‘This decision did not shock us because this government and others are already practising extrajudicial killings against our youth and children, otherwise how else will the world explain the killings of more than 60 Palestinians in less than two months.’
He slammed such a law as fascist and criminal, ‘which will not deter us from continuing to demand our rights, freedom, and dignity to live in an independent, sovereign, contiguous, and viable state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for refugees’.
Member of the Hamas Political Bureau abroad Sami Abu Zuhri said: ‘The settler terrorism against Huwara town is new evidence that we are facing a criminal enemy and will only lead to a legitimate and natural response from our heroic resistance.’
Meanwhile, the Israeli army chief decided to deploy additional military reinforcements in the West Bank, especially its northern regions.
Three military battalions were sent yesterday morning to the West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed that one civilian was killed, while at least 100 others were wounded during the attack on the town, one seriously with head wounds.
Neil Wigan, the UK ambassador to Israel, denounced the Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their properties in Huwara, saying that ‘Israel should tackle the violence.’
Wigan took to his official Twitter page to express condemnation of attacks by the fanatic settlers.
‘Terrible scenes in Huwara this evening, with reports of a Palestinian man killed in a settler attack and many more injured,’ he said.
He continued to demand: ‘Israel should tackle settler violence, with those responsible brought to justice,’ adding: ‘The UK is deeply worried by rising violence.’