A senior U.S. official on Tuesday visited the Palestinian village of Hawara near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and condemned the recent violence by Israeli settlers.
During a short visit to the village, Hady Amr, the U.S. special representative for Palestinian affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, met with the representatives of civil institutions and the municipal council.
He expressed his concern about the escalation of violence in the West Bank after hearing testimonies of some residents whose homes and vehicles were burned and destroyed by the settlers in the village.
In a news briefing at a site with several burnt vehicles, Amr condemned “the random, widespread, and unacceptable acts of violence carried out by the settlers.”
He stressed the need to see full accountability and prosecution through the law of those responsible for these “heinous” attacks and compensation for those who lost their property or were otherwise damaged.
Mueen Al-Damidi, mayor of Hawara, told reporters that “the settlers’ attack on the village led to the death of a Palestinian and the injury of dozens, including pregnant women and children.”
“The settlers’ attack has never been witnessed before, and it took place under the protection, full view, and hearing of the Israeli army forces. This is unacceptable to all countries concerned about humanity and peaceful coexistence,” he said.
Meanwhile, during Amr’s tour through the alleys of Hawara, the outer walls of some of its houses were covered with black marks as a result of the flames caused by the settlers’ attack.
On Tuesday, Amr also met with Hussein Al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
An official statement issued by Al-Sheikh’s office said that he briefed Amr on the recent attacks of the Israeli settlers and the Israeli army forces on the Palestinians and their properties.
The tensions have escalated between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since early January. Official Palestinian figures showed that 65 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers so far this year, while Israeli data put the death toll of Israelis killed by Palestinians at 13. ■