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PA: Settler violence 'not random'

Oct. 3, 2011 5:29 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 3, 2011 5:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian agricultural land are "condoned and supported by the Israeli government," Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib said Sunday.

Over 500 olive trees were burned and uprooted on Saturday night, in settler attacks on villages near Nablus and Hebron, a government statement said.

Khatib said the incidents followed an intensification of violence by Israeli settlers on Palestinians, adding that the Israeli government's "failure to act shows its disregard for applying the rule of law to the settlers.

"There have been no reported cases of Israeli settlers being held accountable for these crimes," Khatib said, listing settler destruction of 3,000 olive trees and grape vines, burning of 83 dunums and flooding of 40 dunums of agricultural land in the West Bank in September.

As Palestinian farmers prepare for the upcoming olive harvest season, "the settlers' season of destruction has begun early," Khatib said.

"These are not random events," he added, accusing the Israeli government of providing settlers with full impunity and army protection while they destroy Palestinian land.
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