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Israeli forces 'block olive harvest in Nablus'

Oct. 14, 2011 3:24 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 15, 2011 3:37 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces blocked villagers in Nablus from harvesting olives on lands near Israeli settlements on Friday, locals told Ma'an.

Israeli troops told harvesters in Qaryut and Azmut villages that security coordination had expired and blocked them from picking olives, a Ma'an correspondent said.

International activists accompanying farmers said forces told them in nearby village Burin that the area was a closed military zone and shut down the harvest.

"There are dozens of olives on the top of the hill (near the Israel settlement of Yitzhar)," one activist said, "but villagers were only given four days permission to do two weeks' work."

Ghassan Doughlas, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, said Israeli settlers came into olive groves in Azmut, north of Nablus, and Jit to the east.

Settlers clashed with locals as they tried to harvest olives, he said.
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