A Palestinian sustained burns and four vehicles were vandalized today in an attack by a group of Israeli settlers on olive harvesters near the town of Turmus Ayya, north of Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank, local sources said.
Awad Abu Samra, a local anti-colonization activist, told reporter that a group of around 20 Israeli settlers from an adjacent settlement outpost attacked Palestinian families harvesting olives in their own lands east of the town and sprayed at least one farmer with pepper spray, causing him burns in the face. The farmer required medical treatment.
The attacking settlers also set fire to a car and vandalized and punctured the tires of other parked cars belonging to the Palestinian families harvesting the olives.
Over the past three weeks, Israeli settlers have committed violent daily attacks against Palestinian villages and farmers harvesting their olive trees.
The attacks, which include beatings of farmers and destruction of trees, preceded the formal start of the olive harvest season in early October in the occupied West Bank but intensified in number over the past three weeks. The most targeted areas have been in the north and center of the occupied West Bank.
While settler attacks are a frequent, near-daily reality for Palestinian villages, the number and intensity of attacks increase during the olive harvest season, which runs until November, as settlers target families working on their lands.
The olive harvest is one of the most important seasons for thousands of Palestinian households in the occupied territories whose income depends heavily on the success of this season.