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Settlers destroy over 150 olive trees near Bethlehem

Feb. 11, 2014 2:27 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2014 9:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Settlers cut down 150 olive trees in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader on Tuesday, land owners said.

One of the owners, Muhammad Shawqi al-Zayyah, told Ma'an that settlers destroyed around 150 olive trees that his family planted two years ago.

Several vines were also cut down.

The fields are located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel and a nearby outpost called Sde Boaz.

The settlers there are led by a Jewish extremist known as Hananiya, who runs an illegal outpost nearby on eight dunams (two acres) of private Palestinian land.

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

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute -- Jerusalem.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.
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