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Settlers torch crops in Nablus villages

June 2, 2011 7:32 P.M. (Updated: June 3, 2011 12:50 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- For the second time this week, villagers reported fires set by settlers in farmlands south of Nablus, with Burin residents pointing the finger at residents of the Yitzhar settlement.

Farmlands near the Madama and Burin villages, both south of Nablus, were ablaze Thursday afternoon, and villagers told settlements observer Ghassan Doughlas that settlers were seen in the area.

Palestinian fire crews were able to contain the blazes, but several dunums of lands were wrecked, the official said.

The fires came following the evacuation of a settlement outpost fifteen kilometers south of the villages. Locals near the Shilo settlement, where four illegal structures were dismantled, said 12 cars were vandalized by settlers.

On Monday, settlers visiting a shrine inside Nablus rioted against Israeli forces escorting the 1,600-strong group, and according to Palestinians, later set fire to lands near Madama.

The incidents mark a jump in settler violence against Palestinians in the area.

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