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Britain, partners call on Israel to tackle settler violence

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Britain, the European Union and more than a dozen partner countries including Australia and Canada, called on Israel to take immediate and concrete steps to tackle settler violence in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian men check on a burned building, after an attack by Israeli settlers, near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, June 21, 2023. Reuters/Mohamad Torokman/File Photo

Britain, the European Union and more than a dozen partner countries including Australia and Canada, called on Israel to take immediate and concrete steps to tackle settler violence in the occupied West Bank.

"This rise in extremist settler violence committed against Palestinians is unacceptable," the countries said in a joint statement published by the British government on Friday.

"Proactive steps must now be taken to ensure the effective and immediate protection of Palestinian communities."

On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said those responsible for settler violence against Palestinians would be banned from entering Britain, following a similar plan by the European Union.

"Israel’s failure to protect Palestinians and prosecute extremist settlers has led to an environment of near complete impunity in which settler violence has reached unprecedented levels," said the joint statement -- from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Britain.

"This undermines security in the West Bank and the region and threatens prospects for a lasting peace."

The statement said that since the start of October, settlers have committed more than 343 violent attacks, killing 8 Palestinian civilians, injuring more than 83, and forcing 1,026 Palestinians from their homes.

Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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