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Settlers destroy 500 newly planted olive trees

Feb. 18, 2015 3:31 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2015 9:57 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A group of Jewish settlers from the Metzad settlement near Bethlehem uprooted over 500 newly planted olive tree saplings on Wednesday near the Hebron town of al-Shuyukh.

The damaged fields belong to the al-Ayayda family, local activists said.

The owners found the damaged trees in the morning while going out to check his land, which is near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Last week, settlers from Metzad destroyed over 70 tree saplings near the town of Sair.

Attacks on olive trees are a key way that Palestinians are forced out of their homes and their lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year's crop can signal destitution for many.

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

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