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Settlers torch farmlands near Nablus

Oct. 7, 2010 2:05 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2010 12:16 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Residents of the Huwwara village south of Nablus said Thursday that settlers set dozens of dunums of farm lands on fire, destroying crops.

PA official responsible for settlement-observation in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said the fields were in the At-Tira area of Huwwara village, and had destroyed some crops.

"Lighting fields on fire is a provocative act perpetrated by settlers seeking bury the peace process," the official said, calling on representatives of the Middle East Quartet to ensure that Israel took responsibility for the actions of its settlers.

The fire was the latest in a long string of recent arson and vandalism carried out by the illegal settler population in the West Bank, mainly in the northern area.

On Wednesday, settlers reportedly harvested the olives of Palestinian trees and subsequently damaged several, and on Monday settlers set fire to a mosque in the Bethlehem-area village of Beit Fajjar. Israeli police said an investigation had been opened into the latter incident, but no arrests had been made by Thursday, despite calls for action in joint Israeli-Palestinian protests.

One week earlier, witnesses said a settler was behind the wheel of a hit and run in Qalqiliya district. No charges were laid.
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