Slafit / PNN /
Israeli extremists settlers Wednesday morning destroyed dozens of perennial trees to the east of the occupied West Bank city of Slafit, according to a local source.
Deputy mayor of Yasuf Wael Abu Madi said that settlers chopped down 170 trees, all 50-80-year-old, belonging to Rada Atyani and his brother, Radi, both farmers from the village, as well as to Wajih Abu Kamal from the nearby town of As-Sawiya.
The vandals came from the nearby colonial settlements of Kfar Tapuah and Shvut Rahel (Rechelim), built on lands seized from the villagers of Yasuf and Iskaka.
Abu Madi added that this was not the first time for settlers to vandalize Palestinian cultivated land in the area as they have already chopped more than 300 trees as a means to force the villagers to leave and seize their land to make room for colonial settlement construction.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers‘ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.