An extremist settlers group cut down, on Sunday, more than 200 olive trees which belong to Palestinian farmers from Salem village, near the West Bank city of Nablus.
Villagers told the Israeli police after arriving at the scene that settlers came during night and cut down the trees using chainsaws. The Israeli police are allegedly trying to locate the settlers responsible for the attack.
The farmers did not attend their groves after they were destroyed fearing additional attacks by extremist settler groups.
According to the Israeli online daily, Haaretz, the destruction of the trees came a day after volunteers from the Kibbutz Movement’s assignment division, headed by Yoel Marshak, helped the residents of Salem restore olive groves that were destroyed by settlers of Elon Moreh settlement a month ago.
Haaretz reported that Marshak was in touch with the army in order to “ensure the restoration would go ahead without violent clashes”. The division Marshak heads also helped Gush Katif settlers during the evacuation of their farms and hothouses.
“We helped Gush Katif farmers during the evacuation of Gaza settlements”, Marshak stated, “We are now helping Palestinians prepare the ground for planting the olive trees after they were destroyed”.
Marshak called on the settlers to stop their attacks, to stop harassing the Palestinians, and to avoid obstructing the preparations for planting the trees.
He also called on the army “to act more aggressively” against the settlers who attempt to harm Palestinian farmers, especially after some settler groups escalated their attacks against the residents.
Haaretz reported that the volunteers intend to aid the Palestinians in the upcoming weekends in order to prepare for the planting of the trees in December 24.