While the diplomats haggle, deadly tensions are mounting in the nascent Palestine | World news | The Observer
In Qusra, deep among the terraced hills of the West Bank, fear is on the rise. “The settlers are provoking us continuously,” said Hani Abu Reidi, head of the village council. “They uproot olive trees, kill our sheep, burn our mosques and curse our prophet. They want to drag us into the sphere of violence. We do not want to go there.”
Security around settlements and outposts has been reinforced with extra barbed wire, CCTV cameras, security guards and dogs. And the settlers themselves are armed and primed in anticipation of what they believe will be incursions by Palestinians intent on making their hoped-for state a reality on the ground.
This week, photographs were published on a pro-settler news website, Arutz Sheva, showing women from Pnei Kedem, an outpost south of Bethlehem, learning to shoot. In Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish enclave in the midst of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in east Jerusalem, settlers are preparing to invoke a law allowing self-defence against intruders.
Women and children would take part in defensive action