Israeli settlers have burned down Palestinian crops and cut down hundreds of fruit trees in West Bank as Palestinian leaders travel to the US to take part in the current session of UN General Assembly.
Jewish settlers, adamantly opposed to Palestinian statehood, burned dozens of acres (hectares) of agricultural land and cut down several hundred olive, fig and almond trees on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
"This is our land and no Palestinian state will be (established) here," claimed an Israeli settler in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, the West Bank.
The latest Israeli vandalism came at a time when acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas is planning to seek UN recognition this week of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem (al-Quds), areas Israel captured in its 1967 war.
The Palestinians fear that their UN bid could spark more violence in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority officials said Tuesday that there have been over 40 reports of Israeli settlers’ violence and vandalism in the past month.
On Tuesday, Jewish settlers in Yitzhar in the northern West Bank gathered on a hilltop overlooking several Palestinian communities and shouted offensive slogans, reports said.
Also on Tuesday, Palestinian activists disclosed a six-meter-high chair, painted in the UN’s signature baby blue, in the main square of the city of Ramallah. The chair, with the inscription "Palestine’s right — Full membership in the United Nations," symbolizes the Palestinian quest for recognition.