A group of extremist Israeli colonists invaded, earlier Saturday, a Palestinian olive orchard in Wad al-Harayeq area, south of Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem, and cut more than 18 large olive trees.

The assailants apparently tried to cut more trees, but a fence that was around large areas of the orchard foiled their attempts.

Journalist Hani Fannoun told the Maan News Agency that the lands, owned by his family, are located close to the Gush Etzion settlement block, especially Beit Ayin colonialist outpost.

Fannoun added that the orchard, and the lands around it, were illegally confiscated by Israel, but the family managed to regain control over their orchards more than twenty years ago, after heading to the Israeli Supreme Court.

Fannoun also stated that the land in question is more than ten Dunams (2.47 Acres), and that the lands around it have been illegally confiscated by Israel and became part of Israeli colonies in the area.

It is worth mentioning that various orchards in the area have been subject to frequent similar attacks by groups of extremist Israeli colonizers, especially before and during the olive harvest season.