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Palestinian olive harvest under attack —again

Palestinian olive harvesters along with Israeli volunteers assisting in the harvest were attacked Oct. 20 by settlers armed with iron bars near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, according to the organization Rabbis for Human Rights. There were apparently no serious injuries in the incident, but the victims are still being examined by medics. The Palestinian Authority complains that settler aggression, specifically destruction of olive trees and groves, has increased in recent weeks, as the harvest season started. More than 100 olive trees have been uprooted in Krayot village, south of Nablus, Palestinian authorities saud. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in this sector of the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, blamed settlers from the settlement Ali. (HaaretzJP, Oct. 20)

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest sees a peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property. In 2012, there were 353 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October of 2012, according to OCHA. (Ma'an News Agency, Oct. 20)

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