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Israeli settlers steal Palestinian olive harvest in Nablus area

Nov. 1, 2017 4:12 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2017 4:13 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers reportedly stole the harvest of hundreds of Palestinian olive trees in the northern occupied West Bank, local sources told Ma’an on Wednesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers stole olives off 280 trees on Palestinian lands near the illegal Israeli settlement of Shave Shomron.

Daghlas said that the lands belonged to Salim Daoud Abu Safat (45 trees), Sabri Hamad Abu Safat (70 trees), Abd al-Jabbar Amin Mustafa (60 trees), Fahmi Marie (50 trees) and Bashir Salim (55 trees).

Several reports of Israeli settlers stealing olive pickings from Palestinian lands have emerged since the beginning of the harvest season, with NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reporting on a “massive wave” of thefts, which they described as “hate crimes.”

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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