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Israelis are burning 70 Palestinian olive trees just as farmers were preparing to begin the harvest.

Israeli settlers set dozens of olive trees ablaze in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday morning, as farmers were preparing to bring in their harvests.

At least 70 olive trees were torched near the occupied city of Nablus as harvesting season begins, according to Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, said settlers set fire to olive groves located between the towns of Burin and Huwwara.

Palestinian farmers rely on the annual olive harvesting season for income. 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 plants.

For many Palestinians in rural areas they have little alternative to olive farming.

Illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various crimes 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.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA); Area B’s administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security; Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Along with stealing land, occupying Israeli forces and settlers routinely torment Palestinians in various ways.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories through harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property and other forms of violence.

(Source: The New Arab)

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