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Israeli settlers chop down 550 trees near Ramallah

April 3, 2019 10:58 A.M. (Updated: April 4, 2019 11:17 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers chopped down some 550 tree in Palestinian agricultural lands in the Deir Jarir village northeast of the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday.

Land owner Abed al-Dayim Ajaj reported that Israeli settlers chopped down 150 almond trees and 400 grape vines from his land.

Ajaj pointed out that the trees are more than five years old.

Israeli settlers also spray painted racist anti-Arab slogans on a water tank in Ajaj’s land.

Walid Assaf, head of the National Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlements, condemned Israeli violations against Palestinian farmers, saying that the Deir Jarir village faces regular violations by Israeli settlers from the Kokhav HaShahar.

More than 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.

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."

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