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Settlers 'plant trees on privately-owned land' near Bethlehem

April 4, 2012 10:28 A.M. (Updated: April 4, 2012 7:55 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers have planted trees on privately-owned Palestinian land near Bethlehem, a local official said Tuesday.

Popular committee spokesman Ahmad Salah told Ma'an that a group of settlers planted tree saplings on 2,000 square meters of land in the Ein al-Qassis area of al-Khader.

The land belongs to Hasan Mousa Hasan, who had planted wheat on the fields. Salah said Hasan discovered the saplings when he went to work on his land.

An extremist settler established an illegal outpost in the area around 10 years ago and several Israeli families now live in the outpost, Salah said.

It is likely that settlers from the outpost planted the saplings in an attempt to confiscate more land, he added.

Salah noted that Israeli courts have ordered the evacuation of the outpost several times but none of the orders have been carried out.

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