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Israeli forces, settlers harass Palestinians in Sabastiya

Oct. 5, 2018 12:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2018 4:13 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers stormed an archaeological site and harassed Palestinian residents in Sabastiya village north of the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on Friday, under the protection of Israeli forces.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces escorted dozens of Israeli settlers, who stormed an archaeological site in Sabastiya and harassed residents as they were harvesting olives.

Sources confirmed that Israeli settlers chased residents out of their own lands, while Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear-gas bombs at them.

No injuries were reported.

Sabastiya is located some 12 kilometers outside the city of Nablus, is the site of ancient ruins dating back 3,000 years, and was listed in the Oslo Accords among the archaeological sites of importance to Israel and designated a "national park."

Additionally, the Palestinian Authority (PA) had set October 10th as the official start of the olive harvest season in the West Bank.

It is noteworthy that 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.

Palestinian towns and villages in the Nablus area are surrounded by Israeli settlements and outposts, many of which are protected by the Israeli military and have gained notoriety for being comprised of the most extremist settlers.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent 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 attacks committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such attacks.
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