Palestinian officials have accused the Israeli government of allowing settlers to commit acts of violence against Palestinians across the West Bank and inside the Old City of Jerusalem.
“Armed settlers are blocking off Palestinian roads and have so far burned over 300 cars,” said Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of monitoring Israeli settlement policies in the occupied territories.
Daghlas told Al Jazeera that armed Israeli settlers, protected by units from the Israeli army, were roaming the West Bank, attacking Palestinian villages, burning their properties and setting olive trees ablaze.
In recent days, Daghlas said, there have been mounting attacks by the army and settlers against Palestinian population centres in the West Bank.
“It is clear for us that this campaign is designed to be used as a justification to take away more land from the Palestinians and build more illegal Jewish settlements,” he said.
Israeli police have closed off access to the Old City of Jerusalem for Palestinian men who are not residents of the area, after two attacks in less than 12 hours resulted in the deaths of two Israelis.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told Al Jazeera that the latest stabbings were a reaction to “Israel’s systematic cycle of violence, its occupation and building of settlements”.
“The Israeli actions are an indication that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is trying to avoid his obligations to end this conflict and is trying to legitimise the illegal building of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories,” Erekat said.
On Saturday, Netanyahu issued a statement blaming the Palestinian Authority for “wild incitement that leads to acts of terrorism and murder”.
Netanyahu said he would speak to Israeli military and security chiefs “about the steps we will take not only to apprehend the murderers, but also to increase security for all Israeli citizens”.
populations.”Israeli plans for Jerusalem, according to Toufakji, are to restrict the Arab population to 12 percent, while the remaining 88 percent would be Jewish, with full Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, excluding the villages of Beit Hanina and other outlying areas.Adnan Husseini, the PA-appointed governor of Jerusalem, cited “unprecedented Israeli military pressure against the Palestinians”, in addition to the Israeli government’s attempts “to divide al-Aqsa Mosque and encourage Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem”.”The situation is extremely difficult for us,” Husseini told Al Jazeera.”]