NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Thursday bulldozed private Palestinian lands near the northern West Bank village of Jalud south of Nablus in order to expand an illegal settlement outpost, a Palestinian Authority official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that settlers from the Shvut Rachel outpost had decided to expand their illegal settlement at the expense of nearby private Palestinian landowners.
The fields that were leveled belong to Ahmad Ibrahim Hajj Muhammad, he added.
Daghlas said that the Israeli government had granted the settlers construction licenses.
Jalud is located directly beside a number of notoriously violent Jewish outposts and settlements, and hundreds of acres of its agricultural lands have been confiscated by Israeli authorities for their construction.
Settlers regularly attack the village, burning cars and uprooting olive trees, and in January locals captured a group of marauding settler youth before turning them over to security forces.
In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Over 90 percent of investigations into settler violence by Israeli police fail to lead to an indictment.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.