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Israeli settlers uproot 15 olive trees east of Yatta

Sept. 10, 2018 1:20 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 12, 2018 10:40 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted on Monday a number of olive trees in the al-Hamra area, east of the southern occupied West Bank village of Yatta.

According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlements of Maon and Havat Maon, which were built on lands belonging to residents of the Yatta village, uprooted more than 15 Palestinian-owned olive trees.

Sources confirmed that the uprooted olive trees belonged to the family of Rubai.

Sources added that this was not the first time Israeli settlers uproot trees in the area, in attempt to force Palestinian residents to leave their lands, in order to expand illegal settlements at the expense of the local population and their livelihood.

Palestinian residents of the village called on the international community and human rights organizations to immediately intervene to stop these violations

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that Israeli settlers' vandalism in the occupied West Bank is a daily routine and is fully backed by Israeli authorities.

The report by B’Tselem stated "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."

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.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

The majority of settler thefts committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such thefts.

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks or theft result in a conviction, while 95.6 percent of investigations of damage to olive trees are closed due to failures of Israeli police, according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.

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