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Israel's Herzog calls Abbas, condemns settler violence against Palestinians

Speaking on the phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli President Isaac Herzog slammed the violent rampage of settlers in recent days in several Palestinian villages.
Israeli co-leader of the Zionist Union party and Labour Party's leader Isaac Herzog (L) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog made a rare phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday and addressed the recent assaults by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians.

A statement issued by the Israeli president's office said that Herzog called Abbas to convey his greetings ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, which falls on Wednesday, but also condemned the Israeli violence against Palestinians.

“Herzog emphasized in their conversation the importance of a forceful, persistent war against terror, incitement and hatred and he underscored the horrendous price and pain which terror inflicts upon bereaved families and Israeli society as a whole,” read the statement, adding that the president “further underlined his unequivocal denouncement of the recent assault on innocent Palestinians by extremists.”

The conversation came on the heels of increased violence by settlers across the West Bank. There have been hundreds of attacks against Palestinians since last Tuesday, when two Palestinian gunmen killed four Israelis outside the West Bank settlement of Eli. Hours later, groups of settlers descended on several Palestinian villages and towns including Luban a-Sharqiya, Huwara, Beit Furik and Burin, hurling stones at local residents, vandalizing property and burning cars, fields and homes. On Wednesday, settlers rampaged in the West Bank Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya. Footage circulating on social media showed a group of masked settlers hurling stones at local residents and vandalizing homes.

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