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Israeli settlers uproot Palestinian grapevines in Ramallah-area village

May 29, 2018 12:44 P.M. (Updated: May 30, 2018 2:50 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted hundreds of grapevines on Monday evening in the central occupied West Bank village of Kafr Malik, east of Ramallah.

Locals told Ma’an that dozens of settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Kokhav Shahar uprooted and destroyed hundreds of grapevines, though it remained unclear exactly how many were uprooted.

The owner of the destroyed grapevines, Iyad Said Muadi, told Ma’an he was shocked by the attack on his land, and said he would suffer from heavy financial losses as a result.

Palestinians in the West Bank have witnessed an increase in Israeli settler attacks on their land and property in recent weeks.

Over the past two weeks, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, over 800 grapevines were cut down in the villages of Beit Einun and Halhoul, while a wheat field was set on fire in the al-Deirat village.

In April, the Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency, reported a spike in Israeli hate crimes against Palestinians in 2018.

According to the report, there were 13 attacks in the first four months of this year - more than in the whole of 2017, when the agency recorded only eight attacks -- though Palestinians report the number to be much higher.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israelis committing violent acts against Palestinians.

In March 2017, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

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