Molotov cocktails burn down house in illegal settlement of Beit El in Palestine

Published November 12th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
Israeli soldiers are seen close to settlers who are attacking a photographer's car, near illegal settlement of Beit El. (AFP/File)
Israeli soldiers are seen close to settlers who are attacking a photographer's car, near illegal settlement of Beit El. (AFP/File)

An Israeli home in the illegal Beit El settlement, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, was left completely burned down late Thursday night after a group of Palestinian youth threw Molotov cocktails into the settlement, according to Palestinian sources.

According to locals, several youths threw the Molotov cocktails at the house, which was located on the outskirts of the settlement. The house then caught on fire and burned to the ground.

Israeli forces, firemen, and ambulances rushed to the area to put out the fire, while Israeli forces immediately began searching the area for suspects.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on the incident.

Beit El is one of 196 Israeli settlements scattered across the occupied Palestinian territory in contravention to international law, including some 232 settler outposts -- unauthorized settlements which oftentimes create corridors between official settlements and are commonly retroactively legalized by the Israeli government.

Beit El was established on private Palestinian land in 1977 and has since attracted some 6,000 Israeli settlers, according to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

Rights groups have estimated that 500,000 to 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, while international leaders have strongly condemned Israel's settlement construction, claiming it is a strategic maneuver to prevent the establishment of a contiguous, independent Palestinian state by changing the facts on the ground.

Meanwhile, members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, have publicly announced their support for plans aimed to annex the entirety of Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civil control -- where the Israeli settlements are located.


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