Israeli army bulldozers started on Saturday morning to uproot olive trees privately owned by a Palestinian farmer from the village of Boreen, south of Nablus.

Qassem Al Najar, the owner of the trees, stated that the Israeli army is planning to expand a road exclusively for Settlers that connects the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Brikha in the West Bank to nearby Israeli territory.

In a similar incident, Israeli army bulldozers started to destroy lands that belong to Palestinians from Huwara village south of Nablus.

Last week the Israeli movement Peace Now published a report showing that the settler population in the West Bank has increased by 5% over the last year. 268,000 settlers now occupy West Bank settlements, according to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. The number of building permits issued for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, however, decreased to 952 last year. This is a reduction from 1,184 in 2005. All permits issued in 2006 were issued after the Israeli elections in March.