US convoy attacked by Israeli settlers near Nablus
US security personnel were forced to withdraw weapons after their convoy was attacked by Israeli settlers near Nablus. (AFP/File)
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The incident nearly prompted US security personnel, who were armed with M-16 automatic rifles, to confront the assailants. There were no injuries reported in the incident.
The convoy was driving through southern Samaria on a fact-finding mission when it came under a hail of stones.
Israeli and Palestinian sources said on Friday that American security personnel nearly clashed with the settlers.
"The settlers attacked the cars of the US Consulate in the town Turmus'ayya near the settlement of Adi Ad," a local Palestinian, Zakaria Sadah, posted on his Facebook page.
The convoy included Palestinians who accompanied American diplomatic personnel on a trip through the northern West Bank. According to Israel Radio, the purpose of the trip was to show the Americans "the adverse effects of Israeli settlement policy on the local population" as well as the damage from the latest acts of settler vandalism against Palestinian olive groves.
The convoy did not coordinate its trip with Israeli military authorities, Israel Radio reported.
Rabbis for Human Rights, a left-wing NGO, denounced the Israeli authorities for failing to enforce the law against Jewish settlers in the territories.
"The lax law enforcement which has permitted settlers to attack Palestinians has also brought about a situation where diplomats are also assaulted," the group said in a press release. "This is liable to lead to diplomatic tensions."
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