Israeli settlers destroy 300 olive trees in Ramallah

Palestinian farmers woke up to Israeli settlers uprooting more than 300 olive trees in the village of Al-Mazraa al-Garbieh, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah

Olives are a key source of income for Palestinian farmers. [Photo: Getty]

Israeli settlers on Thursday uprooted more than 300 olive trees in the village of Al-Mazraa al-Garbieh, the north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, as part of their continued attack on olive harvesting season.

Saade Zaqqout, head of Al-Mazraa village council, told Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA that farmers there woke up to see their olive groves vandalised on land close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kerem Reim.

Settlers installed an iron gate and cement blocks on the road to prevent Palestinian farmers from accessing their land.

It comes as Palestinian residents prepare for the annual olive harvest, with farmers regularly harassed and assaulted by settlers during the season.

Olives are a key source of income for Palestinian farmers and settlers have also targeted the crops, setting fire to trees and poisoning plants.

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.

Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz called on the military to combat rising settler attacks against Palestinians and Israeli forces by reacting “systematically, aggressively and uncompromisingly” to such behavior.

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