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Israeli settlers attack Palestinian olive pickers in Nablus village

Nov. 24, 2015 7:05 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 24, 2015 7:05 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning attacked Palestinians as they were picking olives in Burin village south of Nablus, locals said.

A resident of the village, Muhammad Raja Zain, said that more than 30 settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar attacked him and his family while they were picking olives in the al-Mayadeen area of the village.

He said that the settlers then set fire to the olive trees.

He said that the attack breached an agreement reached with settlers that had set aside a certain time in which the Palestinians were allowed to take in their olive harvest.

The Yizhar settlement, home to Tuesday's perpetrators, has gained notoriety among both Israelis and Palestinians as a bastion of extremists and its Israeli residents regularly carry out attacks on Palestinians and their property.

Located nearby Yitzhar and nearby several other settlements, Burin's villagers come under frequent attacks from settlers, who have also prevented the village residents from accessing their olive fields.

Last month, settlers from Yitzhar threw stones at Burin locals picking olives, injuring four Palestinians. Dozens of acres of Palestinian agricultural land was also burned.

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.

While Israeli settlers regularly carry out attacks on Palestinian locals, attacks increased throughout the occupied West Bank between Israeli settlers and Palestinians since two settlers were shot dead by Palestinian gunmen on Oct. 1.

Last month Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer for Palestine to the UN, asked the UN Security Council to intervene in order to stop aggression by settlers, including the implementation of a measure to disarm settlers.

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