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Settlers cut down dozens of olive trees in West Bank to expand illegal settlement

Palestinians try to return an olive tree to its place after an Israeli bulldozer pulled it out, in a field in the West Bank city of Salfit, near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, on October 26, 2020 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinians try to return an olive tree to its place after an Israeli bulldozer pulled it out, in a field in the West Bank city of Salfit, near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, on October 26, 2020 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli settlers yesterday uprooted and chopped down more than a dozen olive trees in one area of the central occupied West Bank Salfit district, reported Wafa news agency.

Saleh Shunnar, the landowner based in the Kafr Al-Dik village, said that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Alei Zahav uprooted 50 olive saplings after they razed a large area of his land to expand their illegal settlement.

He added that the settlement's officer in charge of security threatened to uproot the rest of the olive trees in his land if he did not remove them himself.

Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank while occupation authorities rarely take action against it.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, noted in his press briefing last month, "Settler-related violence remains at alarmingly high levels, amid continued tensions over settlement expansion and the annual olive harvest season."

READ: Israeli settlers chop down 70 olive trees, let loose sheep to destroy Palestinian farm

He added that "since the harvest began on 4 October, some 3,000 olive trees have been damaged or have had their harvest stolen.

"Physical attacks on Palestinian farmers, volunteers and humanitarian staff have also been recorded, some reportedly taking place in the presence of Israeli Security Forces."

According to the Israeli human rights movement, Peace Now, there are about 666,000 settlers, 145 large settlements and 140 outposts in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. All are illegal under international law.

Abbas brought a present to Gantz and received Israeli olive oil in return... - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Abbas brought a present to Gantz and received Israeli olive oil in return… – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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