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Witnesses: Settlers set fire to olive trees in Burin

July 29, 2011 7:05 P.M. (Updated: July 30, 2011 5:48 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Friday torched olive trees in Burin village, south of Nablus, and fired live ammunition at firefighters' trucks trying to reach the blaze, Palestinian Authority officials said.

PA settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas said the fire continued to rage as firefighters were unable to reach the area.

Witnesses said clashes erupted between the settlers and villagers, and that Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians.

Resident Khaled Omran said Israeli forces prevented Palestinian firefighters from putting out the fire.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers had fired "regular riot dispersal means" to end the clashes, but said no live ammunition was used.

She declined to comment on whether soldiers obstructed Palestinian firefighters.
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