Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered the army to probe reports of uprooted Palestinian trees by extremist settlers groups.
Mofaz said that “if it turned out that the settlers were involved in these attacks, the victims might receive compensation”.
The issue of the uprooted trees was mentioned during a meeting between Mofaz, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, and a number of security officials.
The Israeli police initiated a probe in the cutting of 120 olive trees in a Palestinian village, in the West Bank.
The police claim that the residents might have caused damage to get compensation. This claim comes while most of the villagers depend on their orchards as their only source of livelihood.
Military officials said that Palestinian reports revealed that over 1000 olive trees were uprooted near the West Bank city of Nablus.
Mofaz said that these assaults as “scandalous”, adding that the State cannot accept such violations, and ordered the setting up of an investigations committee.
Israeli police investigators and forensic teams went to the Palestinian village of Bureen, near Nablus, after receiving a complaint about the uprooting of 120 trees which belong to the Palestinians.
Ali Ayid, head of Bureen village council, said that the police and army have failed in getting their hands on the assailants.
Ayid added that the settlers uprooted more than 5000 trees, and burnt them, in addition to burning 100 sheep, and dozens of homes were looted.