On Wednesday, illegal Israeli colonizers cut and uprooted more than 170 olive trees in Palestinian orchards in Yasuf and As-Sawiya, east of the central West Bank city of Salfit.

Wael Abu Madi, the Mayor of Yasuf, said the colonizers came from the illegal Rahalim and Tapuach illegal colonies built on stolen Palestinian lands east of Salfit.

Abu Madi added that the colonizers cut and uprooted more than 170 trees planted by the Palestinians 50 to 80 years ago in orchards owned by Rida, Radi, Najeh, and Ahmad Ateyyani, from Yasuf, and Wajih Abu Kamal from As-Sawiya village.

He stated that the colonizers escalated their violations in the area due to the ongoing attempts to build and expand their illegal colonies on stolen Palestinian lands.

Salfit Governor, Abdullah Kamil, said the ongoing Israeli violations, including the escalating crimes by the paramilitary colonizers, will only lead to further tension and are direct violations of International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and various United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli soldiers closed the eastern entrance of Marda village, north of Salfit, and prevented the Palestinians from crossing.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.