Palestinians' olive trees - AP - 2010
A Palestinian woman reacts next to cut olive trees in the northern West Bank village of Burin, near Nablus, 2010. Photo by AP
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The United Nations human rights office urged Israel on Tuesday to stop Israeli extremists from attacking Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva that Israel has a legal obligation "to protect Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory."

Colville said that the wave of attacks occurring since September must be properly investigated and victims compensated, adding that they were "emblematic of the phenomenon of settler violence throughout the West Bank."

Colevile specifically cited the uprooting of 200 olive trees in the West Bank village of Qusra village on October 6, and the shooting death of a Palestinian civilian by an Israel Defense Forces soldier two weeks prior, as examples of incidents that should be brought for investigation.

Israel Police suspect extremist Jews to be behind a series of attacks against Arabs in Israel proper over the last few weeks, including the torching of a mosque in the North and the desecration of Muslim and Christian graves in a Jaffa cemetery.

The attacks were allegedly carried out as a "price tag" operation, a policy initiated by Israeli extremists intended as revenge attacks for any freeze or demolition of West Bank settlements.