Israeli settlers escalate violence in West Bank, burn 100 olive trees near Nablus
Israeli settlers destroyed over 100 olive trees on Monday and Tuesday, in the neighbouring Palestinian villages of Burin and Madama in the Nablus region, north of the West Bank. local residents told The New Arab.
"Dozens of settlers set fire to the village’s agricultural lands on Monday and then again on Tuesday, burning around 150 dunams of land," Ibrahim Omran, the mayor of Burin told The New Arab.
"We lost more than 100 olive trees and countless quantities of seasonal crops of grain and vegetables," the mayor detailed. "The Israeli army was present all the time and just let it happen."
"The youth in the village are taking shifts to guard the village at night," the mayor added. "We do not feel safe, and life in the village practically dies out after sunset, because of the sense of insecurity."
Gangs of death and enemies of life... Footage showing a group of settlers cutting down olive trees and burning Palestinian lands in Burin and Madama villages south of Nablus under the protection of the Israeli army. pic.twitter.com/3wzVBc8YIG— Ramy Abdu| رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) May 31, 2022
According to the mayor, settlers also attacked Palestinian houses in the village with Molotov cocktails.
"A mob of some twenty Israeli settlers passing in front of my house on Monday, when two of them threw a Molotov cocktail each at the house," Yasser Hussein, a local resident of Burin in his early fifties told The New Arab.
"My family of five, including my 15-year-old son, were in the house," said Hussein. "Fortunately, the Molotov cocktails broke in the courtyard and didn't cause much damage."
On Tuesday settlers attacked again and threw stones at the house, as it is located in the nearest spot to the settlers' outpost, Hussein noted.
"They broke the water tank, and now my family is without water until I fix it," he added.
Settlers' attacks on the village increased in the last week, as part of a larger settler violence escalation in the northern West Bank.
Israeli settlers burn olive trees in Madama village, Nablus. pic.twitter.com/E5idgcJlTK— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) May 30, 2022
Last week, Israeli settlers repeatedly stormed the town of Huwarah, south of Nablus escorted by Israeli forces, to remove Palestinian flags from the main road, which settlers also use.
"Israeli settlers stormed Huwarah again on Monday and clashed with residents," Ghassan Daghlas, a civil rights activist against settlements in the northern occupied West Bank, told The New Arab.
Footage released by @btselem shows Israeli settlers smashing the glass doors and tables of a Palestinian coffee shop in Huwara, in the West Bank— Maha Hussaini (@MahaGaza) May 31, 2022
In most of the attacks, Israeli soldiers serve as bodyguards for the attackers. Sometimes the soldiers participate in the attacks. https://t.co/PzIOuq58qD
"Settlers also attacked a school in Orif on Monday, east of Nablus, and destroyed its solar power panels, and threw stones at cars on the main road near Madama, south-west of Nablus," he said.
On Monday, confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces and settlers were reported across the West Bank, as Israeli settlers held the annual controversial "flag march" in Jerusalem, amidst heavy Israeli border police deployment.
Forty Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem alone, and over 70 were arrested, as local sources told The New Arab.
Israeli occupation forces target Palestinians with tear gas and sound grenades in Huwara village, souther Nablus city. pic.twitter.com/ocBgNfoU3u— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) May 27, 2022
Meanwhile, in New York, the UN Security Council held a special briefing on the Middle East including the question of Palestine.
Addressing the council, Palestine's permanent observer at the UN, Riyadh Mansour said that "the Palestinian people are not killed by Israeli occupation forces because of what they do, but because of who they are."
Mansour called the international community to "make sure there is a cost for Israel for building illegally in our land, and make sure there is none for Palestinians to build on theirs", in reference to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.