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Israeli soldiers destroy 60 olive trees near Bethlehem

Nov. 25, 2013 2:17 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 26, 2013 10:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces uprooted over 60 olive trees in a Bethlehem village on Monday, a local official said.

The mayor of Tuqu, Taysir Abu Mfareh, told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers accompanied by settlers uprooted dozens of trees in the village.

The mayor called on the human rights organizations to support Palestinians against constant Israeli violations.

Earlier, settlers uprooted 15 olive trees in the Salfit village of Bruqin.

Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October in 2012, according to OCHA.

Israeli authorities rarely investigate or prosecute violent crimes carried out against Palestinian communities by settlers.

Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy, according to a report by the PA ministry and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.
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