Israeli Settlers Torch Palestinian Olive Grove South of Nablus

Settlers from Yitzhar have burned hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees over the years. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli settlers site fire to a grove of olive trees on privately-owned Palestinian land in the northern occupied West Bank on Sunday morning, shortly after Israeli forces evacuated an illegal settlement outpost in the area, according to an Israeli NGO.

A spokesperson for Yesh Din, a human rights organization working in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that officers from the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli army had arrived to evacuate the small outpost, which consisted of three tents and a building near the village of Kafr Qalil south of Nablus city.

In response to the eviction, settlers later torched a number of olive trees belonging to Palestinian resident of Kafr Qalil.

Yesh Din reported on Monday on Facebook that an illegal settlement outpost was set up about two months ago on the land, located a few hundred meters from Kafr Qalil. The outpost was subsequently taken down by the Israeli army, but two days later, three tents were erected in the same location, and as of Monday there was a building set up by the settlers.

The Palestinian landowner also told Yesh Din that a shepherd from Kafr Qalil recently tried to reach the land and was chased back by the settlers.

The organization highlighted that its documentation of “ideologically motivated crimes” committed by Israeli citizens against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, has “revealed that the existence of unauthorized outposts creates growing circles of violence against Palestinians living and farming in the vicinity.”

Yesh Din said in the statement last Monday that a week prior, unidentified assailants had sprayed graffiti on the walls of a quarry near to Kafr Qalil. Among other things, one message in Hebrew read, “Muhammed is a pig,” according to the group.

Last Wednesday, the Yesh Din also documented that eight fruit trees were uprooted near the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, located south of Kafr Qalil, and that days after that, 12 olive trees belonging to a Kafr Qalil farmer were chopped down.

The group said that Israeli forces had not apprehended any suspects over the incidents.

Settlers from Yitzhar and other nearby illegal Israeli settlements and outposts are well-known to be some of the most extremist Israelis living in the West Bank, and have burned hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees over the years.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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