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Witnesses: Settlers bulldoze land for settlement expansion

Dec. 31, 2009 4:58 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 1, 2010 10:10 P.M.)
Salfit - Ma’an - Accompanied by soldiers, Israeli settlers driving bulldozers destroyed the Neweitef Al-Majur spring, the central water source for residents of the nearby West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan on Thursday, locals reported.

The destruction of the spring also involved uprooting several olive trees, eyewitnesses said, noting the group of settlers came from the Hayat Ya'eer outpost, near the settlement of Yakir, north of the town.

"Settlers will not allow any residents [of Qarawat Bani Hassan] near the bulldozed land since it is for the expansion of the settlement," a resident told Ma'an.

Residents said the bulldozer incident was preceded by an attack on a young shepherd identified as Nayef Assi, who was threatened and told to stay out of the area of the spring.

An Israeli military spokesman said officials were not aware of an incident like the one described by the witnesses.
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