|UN envoy alarmed by Israeli attacks on Palestinian trees||
Robert Serry said in a statement sent to reporters on Sunday that Israel must do more to protect Palestinians and their property in the West Bank, The Associated Press reported.
The international community regards all the Israeli settlements across the West Bank as illegal under international law.
Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
An Israeli rights organization, B'Tselem, counts 450 Palestinian-owned trees either damaged or uprooted since the harvest season began on October 10.
Every year Israeli settlers carry out attacks during harvest season. Most attacks occur close to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Olive groves provide crucial income for Palestinian farmers.
On Saturday, Israeli settlers torched dozens of Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank.
According to local villagers, settlers torched the trees at several spots simultaneously.
Security officials said evidence pointed to an arson attack by residents of the neighboring settlement of Ee-Lai.
The attack follows the cutting-down of almost 70 olive trees in the same village this past Wednesday, which was the start of the harvest season.
Israeli settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms and set fire to their mosques, olive groves and other properties in the West Bank under the so-called “price tag” policy. However, Tel Aviv rarely arrests the assailants.
The extremists say the “price tag” attacks are carried out against any Israeli policy “to reduce the presence of settlers and settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).”
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader