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Settlers destroy more than 100 olive trees near Nablus

Oct. 19, 2013 11:19 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 20, 2013 12:16 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees in the Nablus district village of Qaryut early Saturday, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli destroyed over 100 trees belonging to village residents Muhammad Ibrahim Muammar, Qasim Abdullah Azzam, Muhammad Jabir Abdullah, Amin Mahmoud Hasan, Muslih Ahmad Badawi, Shaer Ahmad Ibrahim, Ahmad Bakr Ahmad and Abdul-Hamid Azzam.

Nablus mayor Jibreel al-Bakri denounced the destruction, and he urged Palestinian farmers to continue harvesting olives even in the face of frequent settler attacks.

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

Also Friday, Israeli settlers appropriated approximately five acres of Palestinian land in the village of Asira al-Qibliya in the Nablus district, the same official said.

Daghlas told Ma'an that dozens of Israelis from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar surrounded the land with fences in the al-Bir area near the settlement.

The land belongs to village residents Issa Sulaiman Makhlouf and Mohammad Sulaiman Makhlouf, Daghlas said.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

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