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Israeli settlers chop down 100 olive trees near Ramallah

Oct. 15, 2018 11:41 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 12:50 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees in the al-Mughayyir village, west of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, on Sunday.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli settlers stormed Palestinian lands of al-Mughayyir and chopped down more than 100 olive trees, under armed security by Israeli forces.

Sources confirmed that the olive trees belonged to local resident, Rateeb al-Naasan, who was shocked as he arrived to his land to find dozens of olive trees chopped down.

Al-Naasan, along with his children, attempted to enter their own lands, however, Israeli forces prevented them and assaulted them in the process.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), "Olive-based livelihoods in many areas of the West Bank are undermined by Israeli settlers who uproot and vandalize olive trees, and by intimidation and the physical assaults on farmers during the harvest itself."

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem reported that Israeli settlers' vandalism in the occupied West Bank is a daily routine and is fully backed by Israeli authorities.

"In just over two months, from the beginning of May to 7 July 2018, B'Tselem documented 10 instances in which settlers destroyed a total of more than 2,000 trees and grapevines and burned down a barley field and bales of hay," B'Tselem said in its report.

The report added "Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by. The police makes no substantial effort to investigate the incidents, nor takes measures to prevent them or stop them in real time."

"Israel benefits from the repercussions, as settler violence has gradually dispossessed Palestinians of more and more areas in the West Bank, paving the way for a state takeover of land and resources."

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