Official: Israel settlers planning armed patrols across the West Bank
Israeli settlers have announced plans to operate armed patrols across the West Bank, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.
Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said settlers had announced plans to run patrols of three gunmen on Israeli bypass roads as a form of protection.
Daghlas said that settlers planned to station the first patrol on the road between the illegal Yitzar settlement and the Palestinian city of Nablus.
The decision will have "dangerous consequences" if put in to effect, he said.
Daghlas called on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to prevent the move, which he said would result in "more bloodshed and more attacks on Palestinian properties."
In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.