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Israeli settlers set fire to olive trees after West Bank shooting

Sept. 9, 2015 11:25 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2015 8:51 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Wednesday set fire to olive trees in the village of Burin south of Nablus, after an Israeli settler was lightly injured in a shooting earlier Wednesday morning, Palestinian sources told Ma'an.

Sources said that Israelis from the illegal settlement of Yizhar had set dozens of olive trees west of Burin on fire, in full sight of Israeli soldiers who reportedly did nothing to stop them.

A large number of olive trees were burnt before the Palestinian Civil Defense was able to reach the scene and put out the fire.

Earlier Wednesday, a female Israeli settler was lightly injured when she was shot at while driving near Yizhar settlement.

Palestinian sources said that Israeli forces had deployed around the nearby villages of Beita and Einabus, both south of Yizhar, and had completely sealed their entrances, preventing Palestinian residents from entering or leaving "until further notice."

A Ma'an reporter said that Israeli troops also ordered Palestinian shopkeepers in the nearby town of Huwwara village to close their stores.

The Huwwara and Zaatara checkpoints were closed, and a curfew was reportedly imposed on the main road running through Huwwara -- also the main route between Ramallah and Nablus.

Palestinian residents in Nablus expressed worries over the consequences of Wednesday's shooting.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tensions with Israeli settlers have been running high in the occupied Palestinian territory since an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler and his parents were killed in an arson attack on their home in southern Nablus at the end of July.

The toddler's mother, Riham Dawabsha, only succumbed to her wounds on Sunday night.

The perpetrators of the attack have still not been arrested by Israeli authorities.

Israeli settlers have carried out at least 142 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

There are more than 500,000 Israelis living in settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, in contravention of international law.
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