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Witnesses: Israeli fire torches Nabi Saleh olive trees

June 24, 2011 3:21 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2011 3:21 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli troops fired tear gas in An-Nabi Saleh village on Thursday, setting fire to olive trees, witnesses said.

Locals told Ma'an that troops entered the village and fired on houses, breaking into some of the homes and deploying on their rooftops.

Teargas canisters set the trees alight, the witnesses said, adding that villagers threw stones at the Israeli troops' vehicles.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said "violent and illegal riots took place near Nabi Saleh. Rioters hurled rocks towards security forces, who responded with riot dispersal means.

"The gathering was dispersed without injuries or damage. Reported claims of live fire being used and the burning of olive trees, are baseless and have no merit."

The village, abutted by illegal Israeli settlement Hallamish (Neve Zuf), is a focal point of demonstrations against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
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