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Israeli settlers spray Palestinian-owned olive trees with toxins

Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinian-owned farming land in the occupied West Bank, and sprayed olive trees with chemicals at the peak of the harvest season.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settler activities, said the incident took place in the town of Jaloud, near the southern city of Nablus, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Monday.

The settlers sneaked into the land and sprayed 60 trees, ruining all of them.

Settlers escorted by Israeli soldiers have ramped up raids into the Palestinian land of olive trees in the recent past.

Every year during the olive harvest season, violent settlers disrupt Palestinian farmers’ movement toward their fields and often damage or steal their crops. They also often set the trees on fire or cut them down.

Olives are a primary source of income for Palestinian farmers. The harvest season, which runs between October and November, is a lifeline for 80,000 to 100,000 Palestinian families in the West Bank.

According to United Nations data, virtually half of the Palestinian agricultural land is planted with an estimated 10 million olive trees in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said more than 9,300 olives trees belonging to Palestinian farmers have been damaged, cut or uprooted by Israeli settlers between August 2020 and August 2021.

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