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Illegal Israeli settlers destroy over a 1,000 olive trees in a month

27th Nov 2020
Illegal Israeli settlers destroy over a 1,000 olive trees in a month

Archive photo: Palestinian olive tree farmer tries to extinguish a fire ignited by illegal Israeli settlers (Credit: Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

Nadine Osman

Twenty-three Palestinian farmers were injured, over 1,000 olive trees were burnt or damaged and huge loads of harvest were stolen by illegal Israeli settlers in less than one month, reports the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In its Protection of Civilians Report, the OCHA has tallied 33 attacks on Palestinian farmers, their trees or harvest in just the first four weeks of the season (October 7 and November 2).

The OCHA said that the Palestinian olive harvest season has been seriously disrupted by illegal Jewish settlers.

In a report about the Israeli violations in the occupied territories, the report said that the harvest season was disrupted by people ‘believed or known to be Israeli settlers in 19 incidents.’

Most of the attacks took place near and around the city of Ramallah, the report said, observing that the settlers ‘stoned and physically assaulted Palestinian olive pickers on three occasions, triggering clashes.’

Israeli occupation forces, OCHA said, ‘intervened in one of the clashes, injured 14 Palestinians and left 30 trees burnt by tear gas canisters.’

However, the remaining injuries were recorded in farming areas near the town of Huwwara near Nablus and the villages of Ni’lin and Beitillu.

The report added, ‘Next to the Israeli settlement of MevoDotan (Jenin), about 450 olive trees were set on fire and destroyed shortly after Palestinian farmers from Ya’abad village were attacked there by settlers and forced out by Israeli soldiers.’
It added, ‘A few hundred olive trees belonging to Palestinians from Saffa village (Ramallah), in the closed area behind the Barrier, were also set on fire and damaged.’

Meanwhile, the report noted that, ‘in another ten locations adjacent to settlements, farmers found that their olive trees had either been vandalized or harvested, and the produce is stolen, when they were able to reach them.’

OCHA said that ‘several of the incidents took place in access-restricted areas, where the Israeli authorities allow Palestinians to enter two-four days during the entire harvest season.’

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