Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 30, 2008 - 8:00pm

The European Union's French presidency called on the Israeli government Friday to take action to halt Jewish settlers from attacking Palestinians near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

"The European Union once again condemns in the strongest possible terms the acts of violence and brutality committed against Palestinian civilians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank," the presidency said in a statement.

"The European Union would point out that it is up to the Israeli government, which has itself condemned these acts, to take the necessary measures to stop them immediately, in accordance with its international obligations," it said.

Dozens of Jewish settlers rampaged through the West Bank town of Hebron on Sunday after Israeli troops removed an illegal settlement outpost, according to Palestinian residents.

Witnesses said the settlers hurled rocks at houses, vandalised several Muslim graves in a local cemetery and slashed the tyres of cars belonging to Palestinian residents near the Kiryat Arba settlement.

A Palestinian photographer working for AFP suffered head injuries on Friday when settlers hurled rocks at journalists near Hebron, witnesses said.

He was among a group of journalists who had gone to the house of a Palestinian that was damaged by settlers after Israeli security forces dismantled a nearby illegal Jewish outpost.

Three Israelis were arrested after settlers clashed with police who dismantled the settlement on the outskirts of the flashpoint city of Hebron.


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