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Committee: Settlers uproot 85 olive trees near Bethlehem

March 24, 2012 12:49 P.M. (Updated: March 25, 2012 10:31 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Settlers uprooted dozens of olive trees in the Bethlehem village of al-Khader on Saturday, a local anti-separation wall committee said.

The group of Israelis destroyed 85 olive trees in a field belonging to Khader Ali Au Ghalyoun, committee coordinator Ahmad Salah told Ma'an.

The settlers, according to Salah, have been illegally living on hilltop called Ein el-Qassis for more than ten years, during which time they have committed multiple assaults on local farmers.

Settler attacks in the West Bank against Palestinians increased by more than 50 percent in 2011, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In 2011, around 10,000 Palestinian owned trees were destroyed by settlers, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that there were no reports of the incident.
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