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Settlers torch private Palestinian field in Hebron

May 18, 2014 11:09 A.M. (Updated: May 19, 2014 3:23 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers set fire to a private Palestinian field in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday night as part of a celebration for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.

Settlers circled around the field and watched as the fire burned olive trees, in a field that locals said belongs to the Iqneibi family.

Some of the settlers reportedly assaulted a cameraman who works for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz as he tried to take film the fire.

Lag BaOmer marks the the death of a 2nd century sage associated with Jewish mysticism, and is traditionally marked with bonfires.

Activist and co-founder of the Hebron activist group Youth against Settlements Issa Amro told Ma'an that Israeli settlers have recently been harassing and assaulting the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida in an attempt to scare them and get them to leave their houses and lands.

Hebron is a frequent site of tensions due to the presence of around 500 Israeli settlers in the Old City, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants.

Tel Rumeida hosts one of the most militant Jewish settlements in the city, and locals complain of near daily harassment and attacks by the groups, who are under heavy Israeli military protection.
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