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Israeli settlers uproot 30 olive trees in Nablus district

Aug. 25, 2018 10:16 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 25, 2018 2:43 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted about 30 olive trees on Friday in the Palestinian village of Sawiya in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Rahalim cut down about 30 olive trees near the Sawiya village.

Daghlas confirmed that the damaged property belonged to Palestinian resident, Suleiman Hassan Mahmmud Ahmad.

Daghlas added that Israeli settlers have been committing anti-Palestinian crimes at an increased rate in the past few days.

For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income, however when harvest season approaches, Israeli settlers target Palestinian lands and cause severe economic damages.

According to a report by Israeli NGO B'Tselem, Israeli settlers' vandalism in the occupied West Bank is a daily routine and is fully backed by Israeli authorities.

B'Tselem reported that "In just over two months, from the beginning of May to 7 July 2018, B'Tselem documented 10 instances in which settlers destroyed a total of more than 2,000 trees and grapevines and burned down a barley field and bales of hay."

B'Tselem also argued that under the guise of a "temporary military occupation," Israel has been "using the land as its own: robbing land, exploiting the area’s natural resources for its own benefit and establishing permanent settlements," estimating that Israel had dispossessed Palestinians from some 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) of lands in the occupied Palestinian territory over the 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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