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Jewish extremists cut down fruit trees in revenge attack

Jan. 10, 2014 12:57 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 11, 2014 10:40 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Suspected Jewish extremists cut down fruit trees belonging to Israeli-Palestinians overnight in an apparent revenge attack for Palestinian villagers detaining Jewish settlers, police said Friday.

The vandals left placards in the orchard reading "Regards from Esh Kodesh," the West Bank settlement outpost whose residents were assaulted and briefly detained on Tuesday when they entered the Palestinian village of Qusra, some wearing masks.

The vandals struck near Kfar Qasim, an Israeli Arab town that borders the West Bank some 40 kilometers west of Qusra, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Seven of the dozen settlers involved in the original incident were meanwhile remanded in custody on Thursday night, Samri added.

They had been under house arrest since the army negotiated their release by the villagers while police investigated why they had entered Qusra in the first place.

The Palestinian Authority paid tribute to the villagers Thursday, saying they had acted in "self-defense" following numerous assaults by the settlers from Esh Kodesh, a few kilometers to the north
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