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Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, cut down olive trees in Nablus-area village

March 8, 2018 1:45 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2018 12:17 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers cut down dozens of olive trees and attacked Palestinian farmers on Thursday, preventing them from reaching their lands in the al-Sawiya village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that several Israeli settlers from the illegal Rahalim settlement, that is built on lands of al-Sawiya, attacked farmers and prevented them from working on their lands.

Israeli settlers also cut down 40 olive trees belonging to the al-Salman family in the village, Daghlas said.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

The majority of settler thefts committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such thefts.
Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks or theft result in a conviction, while 95.6 percent of investigations of damage to olive trees are closed due to failures of Israeli police, according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.

Yesh Din, along with Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously condemned Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settlers violence or investigate attacks, particularly during olive harvest season, when incidents of attacks on harvesters and their olive groves have been a near daily occurrence in past years.
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