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Locals: Settlers prevent Palestinian farmers from olive harvest

Oct. 31, 2015 11:30 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 31, 2015 1:39 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers on Saturday prevented Palestinian farmers from accessing their olive fields on the outskirts of Burin village near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, locals said.

Local sources told Ma’an that dozens of settlers blocked entrance of farmers to their land while Israeli soldiers stopped two busses carring volunteers en route to assist Palestinians in the olive harvest.

The busses were stopped on the main road between Nablus and the illegal settlement Yitzhar.

The Palestinians and volunteers were stopped “despite coordination between the Palestinian liaison department and its Israeli counterpart,” locals said.

Locals added that Israeli settlers also stole olives and farming equipment from Palestinians in the Bab Sanna area of Burin, which is completely surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements to the north and west.

Settlers in the Nablus area -- known by locals to be more extreme and violent -- frequently prevent Palestinian access to their farmland, much of which lies under Israeli control in Area C.

Earlier this week, settlers from Elon Moreh threw rocks at farmers in the Azmut and Deir al-Hatab areas east of Nablus.

The week prior, settlers from the Yitzhar settlement threw stones at locals picking olives in Burin, injuring four Palestinians. Dozens of acres of Palestinian agricultural land was also burned.

Such attacks are regularly carried out in the presence of Israeli military who rarely act to protect Palestinians.

Palestinian leadership has repeatedly requested the UN Security Council to intervene in order to stop aggression by settlers as well as the implementation of a measure to disarm settlers.

Settler violence during the olive harvest has historically taken a heavy toll on the thousands of Palestinian families whose annual living depends on access to their land.
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