October 21, 2010

Israeli settlers set fire to more than 2,500 olive trees in Burin


PIC - BURIN – A group of settlers from the Bracha settlement attacked noon Wednesday farmers in the village of Burin, moderately injuring a Palestinian man and destroying a number of olive trees. Police arrested one of the farmers after a clash with settlers.

Locals reported that dozens of settlers stormed olive groves in the Burin vicinity and attacked farmer Muneer Qadous with a sharp tool and seized a large amount of olives in his possession. He was later transferred to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus for treatment.

Residents said Israeli soldiers were closely watching the region and arrested one of Qadous’s relatives when he attempted to confront the settlers. But authorities made no attempt to stop the settlers, who caper in the region daily, they said.

Khalid Qadous , one of the locals, told a PIC reporter that settlers have burnt down since last Thursday 2,500 olive trees in the Burin village, some of the trees aging hundreds of years.
“Israeli soldiers deliberately in all of the cases put out the fire by Palestinian fire trucks so the fire would affect the greatest number of olive trees with waiting as an excuse, while coordinating with the Israeli army, who purposely give a late response,” he explained.

In a separate incident, a group of settlers stormed Wednesday morning the town of Sawiya near the North West Bank city of Silfit and burned down a school storage room.

Local sources said Wednesday morning that settlers raided the Sawiya girls high school and wrote racist slogans against Arabs and threats to burn down the storage room used to store sports equipment.

Silfit and Nablus are the most targeted areas by Israeli settlers in their attempt to take control of the land and displace its citizens.

Hamas lawmakers in Nablus condemned the attack as a “new crime added to Israel’s crime record,” adding that the act was only “part of a broad scheme of destruction.”

The officials said the targeting of schools and mosques is part of “a war on religion and knowledge, and an effort to destroy the capabilities of the Palestinians and deprive Palestinian students of the right to a comfortable study environment.”

They called on the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to fulfill their duty to protect citizens and provide security and safety to the public, and to stop engaging in security coordination with Israel as it will only result in more settler attacks.

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