Israeli settlers axe olive trees, hurt farmer in West Bank

Israeli settlers destroy 80 olive trees, assault Palestinian farmer near Ramallah
2 min read
14 October, 2021
Israeli settlers destroyed at least 80 olive trees and attacked a Palestinian farmer in the village of Al-Mughayyer, near Ramallah.
Olive harvesting season is integral to the Palestinian economy [Getty]

Israeli settlers destroyed more than 80 olive trees north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah as attacks on Palestinian farmers continue during the olive harvesting season.

Amin Abu Eliya, head of Al-Mughayyer village council, told the Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa that farmers woke up early on Thursday to find that their crops had been destroyed.

The settlers who destroyed and uprooted the trees live near the illegal Israeli settlement of Adi Ad and were heavily protected by occupying Israeli forces, Abu Eliya said.

The settlers and forces also assaulted a farmer, who was left with bruises after the attack.

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The Israeli army does not allow Palestinian landowners to access that land, he added.

Abu Eliya said Thursday's attack comes a day after settlers razed more than 60,000 square metres of farmland in the area.

The alleged acts of vandalism come as Palestinian residents prepare for the annual harvesting of olives, which provide a key source of income for Palestinian farmers. 

Israeli settlers commonly vandalise Palestinian olive farms in a deliberate attempt to stifle their revenue, commonly by setting fire to olive farms and poisoning the trees.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various violations against Palestinian civilians. 

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.