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Israeli settlers steal Palestinian olive harvest in Nablus

Oct. 20, 2018 2:38 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2018 1:48 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.

Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.

Witnesses said that farmers attempted to avoid settlers.

During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.

For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income, however when harvest season approaches, Israeli settlers target Palestinian lands and cause severe economic damages.

Palestinian towns and villages in the Nablus area are surrounded by Israeli settlements and outposts, many of which are protected by the Israeli military and have gained notoriety for being comprised of the most extremist settlers.

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem reported that "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."

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.

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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