Israeli settlers destroyed on Saturday dozens of Palestinian-owned olive trees in the West Bank, Palestinians said. According to Palestinians from the Hawara region, masked settlers from the settlement of Yitzhar arrived at the area and started targeting the old trees.
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In a video taken by Palestinians at the scene, a group of masked men can be seen breaking tree trunks and branches.
The video, filmed with from a distance of hundreds of meters, also shows a group of soldiers standing by and witnessing the incident. At a later stage, after the trees have already been damaged, the soldiers intervene.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that "30 masked settlers went to Hawara this afternoon." The army said that a few trees were damaged and that forces stepped in to disperse them. No arrests were made, though forces were at the scene and, as noted, intervened.
Since the shooting attack earlier this week in which Palestinian terrorists killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach from the illegal outpost Havat Gilad, at least eight similar incidents took place. In one instance, following the funeral for the slain rabbi, settlers descended on the Palestinian town of Praata. The group reportedly broke locals' windows. None were arrested in the incident.