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In photos - Israeli settlers destroy Nablus-area olive trees

Sept. 1, 2018 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 2, 2018 10:30 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted 20 olive trees from Palestinian lands in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity, told Ma'an that several Israeli settlers coming from the nearby illegal settlement of Yitzhar destroyed and uprooted 20 olive trees.

Daghlas identified the owner of the trees as Zakariya Jamil Najjar, pointing out that his land is in the al-Mayadin area between the Burin village and Yitzhar settlement in southern Nablus.

He added that dozens of Israeli settlers were seen touring the area late Friday, however, Najjar found the done damages on Saturday morning when he arrived to his land.

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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