Settlers armed with chainsaws cut down at least 120 olive trees belonging to Palestinian residents of a West Bank town, the International Middle East Media Center reported this morning.
Witnesses said Zionist settlers from the illegal settlement of Aliyea destroyed the trees belonging to 12 farmers in the village of Qaryout, just south of Nablus.
Settlers and soldiers routinely destroy Palestinian olive orchards, often using tractors to uproot this vital source of livelihood.
Attacks on olive orchards are most common in the early fall as harvest season begins. Today marks the first day of harvest season for Palestinians.
On Saturday, Israeli soldiers fired teargas at Palestinian farmers as they harvested their orchards, forcing them to abandon the land.
On Friday, settlers uprooted 100 newly-planted olive saplings and at least 60 vine trees on private Palestinian land in Al-Khader village near Bethlehem, according to Ma’an news agency.
Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli forces, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy, according to a report by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of National Economy and the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem.