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Settlers chop down 500 trees in Nablus

March 4, 2011 2:28 P.M. (Updated: March 5, 2011 1:01 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Settlers chopped down more than 500 olive trees owned by Palestinians in the West Bank district of Nablus on Friday, Palestinian Authority officials said.

Residents of the illegal Shvut Rachel settlement raided Qusra village and chopped down the trees, said Ghassan Doughlas, PA official for settlement affairs in the northern West Bank.

In a "day of rage" Thursday, right-wing Israelis and settlers blocked a road to Jerusalem and closed down train tracks to the country's airport.

Settlers were protesting the demolition of several structures at an illegal outpost near Nablus by the Israeli government. They threatened to carry-out "price-tag" attacks against Palestinians in response to the government's "anti-settler" activity.

In the past, the "price tag" has included arson, shootings, beatings, burning fields, uprooting trees and poisoning water wells belonging to Palestinians.

Following a recent surge in settler violence -- including fire-bombing Palestinian homes, smashing shops and damaging cars -- the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday urged the international community to intervene and stop the attacks.
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