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Dozens of olive trees felled in suspected settler violence

 Two incidents in the West Bank leave upwards of 60 olive trees severely damaged, according to human rights organizations.

Vandalized trees in the West Bank village of Yasuf, January 11, 2015. (Photo by Zakariya Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights)

Vandalized trees in the West Bank village of Yasuf, January 11, 2015. (Photo by Zakariya Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights)

Dozens of Palestinian-owned mature olive trees were felled in a suspected settler attack Saturday night in the West Bank, according to two Israeli human rights organizations.

Villagers discovered the vandalized trees on lands belonging to the village of Yasuf, in the central West Bank in between the Israeli settlements of Rehelim and Kfar Tapuach.

Vandalized trees in the West Bank village of Yasuf, January 11, 2015. (Photo by Zakariya Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights)

Vandalized trees in the West Bank village of Yasuf, January 11, 2015. (Photo by Zakariya Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights)

Rabbis for Human Rights called on Israeli authorities to make every effort to quickly find those responsible and bring them to justice.

Over the weekend, Palestinians in the south Hebron Hills discovered that some 40 olive trees had been felled, presumably an act of vandalism by local settlers.

Israeli soldiers and Palestinian villagers inspect damage to olive trees in the south Hebron hills, January 9, 2015. (Photo by Lanser Nawajeh/B'Tselem)

Israeli soldiers and Palestinian villagers inspect damage to olive trees in the south Hebron hills, January 9, 2015. (Photo by Lanser Nawajeh/B’Tselem)

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were 329 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians and their property in 2014 — an average of six each week.

Most of those cases go unsolved by Israeli authorities. Only 7.4 percent of investigations into settler attacks on Palestinian property result in indictments, according to data from human rights group Yesh Din. Many more incidents are never investigated.

Two extremist settlers were, however, sentenced to a record 30 months in prison last month for setting Palestinian-owned cars on fire.

In that case, the Israeli military declared the two to be members of an “illegal association,” which allowed interrogators to deny them access to attorneys following their arrest.

Their attorneys accused Israeli authorities of subjecting them to “undue pressure and abuse under interrogation.”

While settler violence has become a more high-profile phenomenon in recent years, the very existence of settlements — illegal under international law — leads to physical and structural violence against local Palestinians.

From land seizures to restrictions on freedom of movement to separate and unequal criminal and civil legal systems for Palestinians, the existence and expansion of even those settlements “legal” under Israeli law, violates Palestinian rights.

Related:
‘Price tag’ attacks: It’s not about the graffiti
Palestinians catch settlers allegedly attempting a ‘price tag’ attack

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    COMMENTS

    1. Weiss

      The Olive tree, which is the source of the olive branch is the universal Symbol for peace.

      This destruction demonstrates the settlers and their protectors (IDF & Satanyahoo) despise peace and want to destroy it one branch at a time.

      And yet ANOTHER reason why I am Ashamed to be Jewish.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Weiss, as I’ve said, when a mensch like you is ashamed and these others are not, there’s something rotten.

        Reply to Comment
        • Weiss

          Yes my friend there is something very rotten within the Fascist elements of the Jewish community as Albert Einstein warned us in his well documented letters published in the NY Times.

          But that’s why we are here, to put a STOP to this madness, before it consumes all of us.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Don’t blame Jewish people without any evidence. Palestinian Arabs have been known to cut their own olive trees to blame their neighbors.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        This was accurately and straightforwardly reported by Omer-Man. Everyone knows the truth. What a dishonest weasel you are.

        Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        “Don’t blame Jewish people without any evidence.”

        This is Jewish supremacism. Our friendly editor will correct it to remove the racism:

        “Don’t blame people without any evidence.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Isn’t it possible that the writer of this piece did research and based on his research wrote this piece, which shows some settlers in a less than flattering light, but this is a true story nonetheless? You dog every story on this site, every single one, even relatively trivial subject matter. Why do you work so hard Pedro? Because there is something terribly wrong with the state of Israel, in almost every aspect of life here, there’s something fundamentally wrong and imbalanced.

        Reply to Comment
      • Weiss

        The perpetrators of this War Crime are not “Jewish People”.

        They are Fascist Right-Wing-Brown-Shirts POSING as Jews.

        Do us all a favor and STOP embarrassing us because your statements make you look like a FOOL.

        Reply to Comment
    3. C.C. DeVille

      This still goes on?

      Reply to Comment