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Israeli settlers uproot hundreds of grape trees near al-Khader

Oct. 14, 2018 11:51 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 3:13 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers chopped down hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive and grape trees, on Sunday, near the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Local sources confirmed that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, chopped down and uprooted about 370 grape trees and 30 olive trees, near the al-Khader village.

Sources added that there has been an increase in Israeli settlers’ attacks on Palestinian lands.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute -- Jerusalem.

There were at least 329 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2014, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

Settlers regularly carry out attacks or threats of violence against Palestinians, often under the protection of Israeli forces.

Israeli authorities rarely investigate violent crimes carried out by settlers against Palestinian communities.

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks result in a conviction, the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din reported.

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