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Israeli forces ban Palestinian farmers entry to lands in Qalqiliya

Oct. 13, 2018 4:07 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 14, 2018 11:36 A.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands in the Kafr Thulth village, in the Qalqiliya district of the northern occupied West Bank, to harvest their olive trees, on Saturday.

Head of Kafr Thulth's village council, Zaki Omar, said that Israeli forces closed the main gates surrounding the illegal Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe, near which the lands are located, preventing more than 50 farmers from entering their lands for olive picking.

Farmers reportedly own more than 3000 dunams of lands planted with olive trees in the vicinity of the illegal settlement.

Last week, Israeli settlers stormed Palestinian-owned land and stole olive harvest in the Burin village in the southern occupied West bank district of Nablus.

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.

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.

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks 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.

Yesh Din, along with Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously condemned Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settlers violence or investigate attacks, particularly during olive harvest season, when incidents of attacks on harvesters and their olive groves have been a near daily occurrence in past 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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