Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian olive groves in the northern West Bank villages of Tell and Madma south of Nablus protesting evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost on Monday.
According to Ghassan Dughlus, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces evacuated an illegal outpost near the village of Sinjil on Monday morning. Angered about the evacuation, settlers set fire to Palestinian fields near Yizhar settlement south of Nablus.
Dughlus was also quoted by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz saying that 10 settlers riding horses and carrying torches set fire to between 1,500 and 2,000 olive trees.
Firefighters were sent to the fields in an attempt to put out the flames. A Palestinian photojournalist also said he was assaulted by settlers when he attempted to cover the incident.
Settlers also threw stones at Palestinian cars and blocked the road near the Huwwara checkpoint on the outskirts of Nablus. Two Palestinian motorists were lightly injured and five cars damaged, according to Dughlus. Israeli soldiers clashed with the settlers, ultimately arresting two, and escorting the others away from the scene. Palestinian cars were also attacked in the city of Hebron.
The settlers’ attacks on Palestinians were a continuation of what they call a “price tag” campaign, in which they respond violently whenever outposts are removed by the Israeli government.
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