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Israeli settlers cut down some 350 vineyards in Bethlehem-area village

July 5, 2018 11:34 A.M. (Updated: July 5, 2018 2:57 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers cut down hundreds of vineyards on Thursday in the Palestinian village of al-Khader, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Ahmad Salah, Coordinator of a Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, said that the Israeli settlers cut down 350 vineyards, which have been planted since five years ago, located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel, west of the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem.

He said that the cut down vineyards belong to local Islam Ali Jaber.

Salah added that the second largest Jewish religious school was built in the same area of the caused damage, stressing that Israeli forces has been escalating actions in the area as they seek to confiscate more lands for settlement expansions.

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

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

Known as "price tag" attacks, extremist Israeli settlers use violent acts of retribution on Palestinians and their property to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli restrictions on settlements and their outposts in the occupied West Bank.

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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