Nablus, Palestine: Israeli settlers used bulldozers to vandalize some agricultural lands belonging to Palestinian families in Nablus city’s Madama district in occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
Israeli soldiers intervened against Palestinian residents reacting against settlers’ vandalizing of their lands; five Palestinian journalists, including an Anadolu Agency photo journalist, who were trying to photograph the incident, were detained briefly by Israeli soldiers.
Anadolu Agency photo journalist Nidal Shtaya said soldiers seized journalists’ press cards and prevented them from taking pictures of the incident.
Madama district Mayor Ehab al-Qad told Anadolu Agency Israeli soldiers attacked local residents with rubber bullets and tear gas.
“The Jewish settlers are trying to seize these lands, vandalizing them with bulldozers. We call upon all legal institutions, media outlets and authorities to side with Palestinians against those Jewish settlers coming here and vandalizing the lands,” al-Qad said.
The incident came after an Israeli settler was shot dead on Tuesday evening by unknown gunmen, south of the West Bank city of Nablus.
Tension have been high in the Palestinian territories since Dec. 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, triggering condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.
Since then, 12 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands injured — in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.