Israel Daily, Jan 3: US “Deeply Concerned” Over Settler Attack on American Convoy in West Bank

PHOTO: Israeli Jewish settlement of Adei Ad in West Bank

The US State Department said on Friday that it is “deeply concerned” by the stoning of an American diplomatic convoy by armed Israeli Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Settlers from the Adei Ad outpost accosted the convoy from the US Consulate earlier in the day. The diplomats were examining complaints that settlers destroyed Palestinian-owned olive groves on Thursday.

The convoy withdrew as soon as it was attacked. One vehicle was lightly damaged, and no one was hurt.

Jeff Rathke, the Director of the State Department’s Office of Press Relations, said the US is working with Israeli authorities in the investigation of the incident: “The Israeli authorities have also communicated to us that they acknowledge the seriousness of the incident and are looking to apprehend and take appropriate action against those responsible.”

Palestinians from the village of Turmusayya complaints that settlers from Adei Ad, which has been declared illegal by Israel’s courts, uprooted 5,000 olive saplings in a plot recently cultivated after years of legal battles. One of the landowners in the village is an American citizen.

Last month, Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein died in the area when a demonstration, protesting the seizure of Palestinian land by Adei Ad, was confronted by Israeli security forces.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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