World Bulletin/News Desk
A group of Jewish settlers set fire to around 100 olive trees owned by Palestinian farmers near Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.
"A group of settlers from the Yitzhar settlement located near Huwara town in Nablus set fire to the town's olive fields, causing the destruction of 100 trees," Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, told Anadolu Agency.
The attack sparked clashes between the settlers and local residents, which ended upon the arrival of Israeli army troops.
Daghlas condemned what he described as increasing settler attacks on Palestinian property and olive fields, slamming the Jewish-only Yitzhar settlement as "a center of extremism."
"The settlement hosts a religious school and a religious center that issues edicts that call for killing Palestinians and stealing their land," the official said.
The Israeli government has yet to comment on Daghlas' allegations.
Around 20,000 Jewish settlers live near Nablus in 39 Jewish-only settlements. Palestinian residents, for their part, complain of repeated attacks by settlers, who usually enjoy the protection of Israeli military personnel.
Recent months have seen a rise in attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians across the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian officials accuse the Israeli army and police of turning a blind eye to the assaults.
Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed Israel for failing to prosecute Jewish settlers responsible for a recent wave of vandalism against Palestinian property in the occupied territory.Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2014, 16:37