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Israeli settlers 'take advantage of Covid-19 lockdown' to vandalise West Bank cemetery Open in fullscreen

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Israeli settlers 'take advantage of Covid-19 lockdown' to vandalise West Bank cemetery

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 April, 2020

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Israeli settlers stormed and damaged tombstones in a cemetery in Nablus.
Israeli settlers vandalised graves at a Palestinian cemetery  in the occupied West Bank this week, in what is believed to be an attempt by militants to take advantage of a coronavirus-related lockdown.

Settlers stormed the cemetery in the village of Burqa, north of the occupied city of Nablus, on Wednesday evening, and vandalised a number of tombstones, according to Ghassan Daghlas, who is monitoring settlers' activities in the West Bank.

The people responsible allegedly live in an illegal settlement called Homesh, with settlers reportedly taking advantage of a lockdown and orders to stay home to wreak havoc in the cemetary, Palestinian Authority’s news agency Wafa said.

Earlier this month, A Palestinian succumbed to wounds sustained from Israeli gunfire near the city of Nablus.

Islam Dweikat, 22, was shot on March 11 on the outskirts of the city in the north of the territory, according to the ministry. He died in a hospital in the central city of Ramallah.

Read also: Israel exploiting coronavirus for settlement expansion, says Palestinian official

The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped Israeli attacks on Palestinians. Israeli soldiers and settlers have been taking advantage of the coronavirus epidemic to harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

On 1 April, settlers were caught spitting on Palestinian cars in the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of East Jerusalem in what locals fear was an attempt to spread coronavirus.

Ongoing illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories through harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property and other forms of violence. 

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