According to local sources, a group of right-wing Israeli colonial settlers, accompanied by an Israeli military escort, invaded Palestinian land in the northern West Bank and uprooted dozens of olive trees.

This attack came a day after the colonial settlers had tried to set up tents to begin establishing a new colony on the Palestinian farmland, but were driven out by local Palestinians.

The land in question belongs to Palestinian villagers in the village of Asira ash-Shamaliya, to the north of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank.

Naser Jawabreh, the head of the Palestinian Ministry of Information office in Nablus, told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that the settlers, protected by an army escort, invaded an agricultural area in the vicinity of the village. They then embarked on uprooting the olive saplings that had been planted by Palestinian activists in the area, which is facing an Israeli threat of confiscation.

Less than a month earlier, in the same area, illegal Israeli settlers burned hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees, in the villages of Burin to the southwest of Nablus, and Madama to the south.

These attacks by illegal settlers, on Palestinian farmlands cause hardship for the farmers, in apparent attempts to force the existing population off their land, to allow for nearby illegal settlement expansion.

According to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Occupying Power [Israel] is forbidden from transferring parts of its own civilian population [settlers] onto the territory which it occupies [Palestine].


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