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Settlers cut down 60 olive trees near Nablus

April 27, 2014 2:04 P.M. (Updated: April 29, 2014 12:35 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Settlers from the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar on Sunday chopped down more than 60 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that a group of settlers raided a neighborhood known locally as Al-Luhuf and chopped down more than 60 olive trees using chainsaws in private fields in the village of Huwwara.

Ghassan Daghlas said that the fields belonged to Murad Tawfiq, Bashir Audah and his brother Audah as well as Nayif al-Zeifa.

The area around the villages south of Nablus is a frequent site of settler violence and Palestinian clashes with Israeli forces as it is located beside the notoriously violent Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.

In mid-February, local settlers threw rocks at Palestinian schoolchildren and attacked a local high school in two separate incidents that led to clashes.

Settlers frequently attack a number of local villages and prevent farmers from reaching their lands, according to UNOCHA, in addition to attacks on local olive trees themselves.

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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