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Committee: Settlers destroy 250 olive trees near Ramallah

Oct. 10, 2012 1:55 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2012 8:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Settlers destroyed over 250 olive trees in a Ramallah village on Wednesday, a local agricultural committee said.

Jewish extremists from nearby Shilo settlement entered the area and cut down the trees in al-Mughayyir village, the committee added.

Attacks increase around the time of the olive harvest season as settlers target olive trees and agricultural land.

On Tuesday, Jewish extremists cut down over 120 olive trees on private Palestinian land in Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.

On Sunday, a group of settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in the Ramallah town of Beitillu, burning dozens of olive trees, while settlers uprooted around 40 olive trees in the nearby Ramallah village of Ras Karkar.

On Friday, settlers destroyed 100 newly-planted olive saplings and at least 60 vine trees on private Palestinian land in Al-Khader village near Bethlehem.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs reported that over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September 2011, and 7,500 throughout 2011.

Settler attacks on Palestinian communities and their property are systematic and rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

In Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority threw its support behind the annual harvest.

It called for "immediate protection for our people" and held the Israeli government fully responsible for the escalation of "settler terrorism against our people, their property, and sources of income."
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