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Israeli settlers burn 300 Palestinian olive trees in Nablus district

June 25, 2018 2:02 P.M. (Updated: July 2, 2018 4:59 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned agricultural lands in the village of Tell on Sunday evening, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Local farmer Khaled Asida told Ma'an that Israeli settlers from the Nablus-area illegal settlement of Havat Gilad set fire to several dunums of agricultural lands in the village, burning at least 300 olive trees.

Asida added that the burned farmlands belonged to Palestinian residents of the village, Fathi al-Hassan and Musi al-Shartouk, and another Palestinian from the village of Farata, located in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, confirmed the attack to Ma’an.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency, reported a spike in Israeli hate crimes against Palestinians in 2018.

According to the April report, there were 13 attacks in the first four months of this year - more than in the whole of 2017, when the agency recorded only eight attacks -- though Palestinians report the number to be much higher.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israelis committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Known as "price tag" attacks, extremist Israeli settlers use violent acts of retribution on Palestinians and their property to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli restrictions on settlements and their outposts in the occupied West Bank.

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, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

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