Israeli settlers destroy olive trees in Palestinian community

Israeli settlers have destroyed at least 70 olive trees and released a flock of sheep on Palestinian farmland.

Palestinians in Masafer Yatta are regularly harassed by Israelis [Getty]

Israeli settlers on Wednesday destroyed dozens of Palestinian olive trees and released a flock of sheep on farmland in a village near the occupied city of Hebron.

Dozens of Israelis from the nearby settlement of Mitzpe Yair cut down around 70 olive trees in the Khillit Al-Dabe village of Masafer Yatta, Fouad Al-Imour, a local activist, told the Palestinian Authority. Wafa Press Agency.

The trees belonged to a local Palestinian resident.

Other crops were destroyed after settlers released their flock of sheep onto Palestinian farmland.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law.

The hills of southern Hebron are located in Area C of the occupied West Bank.

The area is under Israeli control and Palestinian residents are often the target of illegal settlers.

Last week, settlers released a flock of sheep onto Palestinian land in the village of Tuba in Masafer Yatta to destroy crops. The settlers then attacked the farmers under the watchful eye of Israeli soldiers, according to reports.

A Palestinian toddler was hospitalized after Israeli settlers attacked the village of Al-Mufaqarah in September.

Hebron is known to be an exceptionally hostile environment for Palestinian residents, due to the high concentration of settlers in the city.

Palestinians in Hebron are regularly harassed by Israeli settlers and soldiers. Their homes are subject to demolition to make way for new Israeli settlements, and olive trees are uprooted.

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967 and has committed various abuses against Palestinian civilians, according to human rights groups.

More than 600,000 Jewish Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in buildings deemed illegal under international law.

In April, the UN sounded the alarm over a marked upsurge in settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, with assaults and destruction of property occurring in “an atmosphere of impunity”.

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