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Israeli settlers steal olive harvest from Nablus-area villages

Oct. 17, 2017 6:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2017 4:43 P.M.)
Armed Israeli settlers in Nablus (File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers from the illegal Havat Gilad settlement in the northern occupied West Bank Nablus district allegedly stole the harvest of more than 450 olive trees on Tuesday, according to local sources.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that Israeli settlers stole the harvest of olive trees belonging to Palestinians from Jit, Surra and Faraata villages in the Nablus area.

Daghlas added that the Palestinians were shocked after arriving to their lands -- only after receiving permits from Israeli authorities to access the land and harvest the olives -- that their pickings had been stolen by settlers.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Similar reports of Israeli settlers stealing olive pickings from Palestinian lands emerged on Sunday, with NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reporting that the settlers had been arrested in a rare case of Israeli authorities apprehending settlers for crimes committed against Palestinians.

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 attacks committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such attacks.

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks 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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