Armed illegal Israeli settlers uprooted, on Monday morning, dozens of olive trees, owned by Palestinian farmers in the southern West Bank district of Hebron.
Palestinian Official News Agency (WAFA) reported that tens of armed illegal Israeli settlers, from the illegally-established Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba’, stormed the nearby farm land of Palestinian farmer, Yousef Jaradat, under the protection of Israeli troops.
The settlers uprooted seventy olive trees, planted twenty years, ago, with Israeli soldiers watching.
Witnesses told WAFA that local residents, including the members of the Jaradat family, of the Sa’ir village, north-east of Hebron, attempted to prevent the settlers from uprooting the trees, and that some of them confronted the assailant settlers, with no success.
Yousef Jaradat, the owner of the damaged farm land, confirmed that over the past several years, his 4.5-acre farm land has been exposed to frequent Israeli settlers’ attacks and attempts to uproot his trees.
He stated that he believes such assaults by illegal settlers, to be aimed at forcing him out of his farm land, ahead of confiscating it for the purpose of expanding nearby Israeli illegal settlement blocks.
In Hebron district, south of the West Bank, Israel has approved the development of several settlements that are adjacent to Palestinian-populated neighborhoods. Israel began its settlement endeavors, in the 1970s, across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel occupied those areas, back in June 1967, United Nations and other key international players, consider all settlement activities, throughout those areas, as illegal and that Israel must withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Currently, there are more than 600,000 Israeli settlers, being accommodated in more than 200 settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel unilaterally dismantled 17 settlements in the Gaza Strip, back in 2005 and then, in 2007 imposed a brutal siege on Gaza, which continues to this day.