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Hebron (QNN) – Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders on Saturday while grazing sheep in open pastures near Tuwaneh village, in the south of the occupied West Bank, forcing them to leave the area, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Fouad al-Amour, a Palestinian official in charge of monitoring Israeli settlement activities in the area, told WAFA that settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, attacked herders with stones and chased them out of the pastures.

He said Israeli soldiers in the area did not intervene to stop the settlers, rather they provided them protection.

Shepherds in the area, mainly nomadic Bedouins, make a living from raising livestock and they often take their sheep to the open pastures for their food.

Meanwhile, settlers fenced a large area of pastures in the north of the West Bank in an effort to keep herders off that land, according to Aref Daraghmeh, an activist.

He said the settlers fenced land east of Killet Makhoul and north of Khirbet Samra, both in Area C in the northern Jordan Valley, to prevent the Palestinian herders from reaching it.

Attacks against herders and residents aim to force them to leave their homes and land, located in what is known as Area C, which makes over 60 percent of the area of the occupied West Bank and which Israel is trying to fill with settlers and settlements and later annex it after displacing its indigenous Palestinian population.

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