A large number of Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning cut down dozens of perennial trees located east of the city of Salfit in the occupied West Bank, a local source reported.
Wael Abu Madi, the Deputy Mayor of Yasuf, stated that settlers had cut down 170 trees, all of which were 50–80–years–old and belonged to Rada Atyani and his brother, Radi, two farmers from the village, in addition to Wajih Abu Kamal from As–Sawiya, a nearby town.
The vandals came from the neighboring colonial settlements of Kfar Tapuah and Shvut Rahel (Rechelim) which were constructed on land taken from the Palestinians of Yasuf and Iskaka.
Abu Madi remarked that this was not an isolated incident, as settlers had previously destroyed over 300 trees in order to compel the villagers to abandon their land and make way for the establishment of colonial settlements.
Violence perpetrated by settlers against Palestinians and their belongings is a regular occurrence in the West Bank, and is seldom brought to justice by Israeli officials.
Settlers‘ aggression includes burning of property and mosques, hurling stones, destroying crops and olive groves, and attacking vulnerable homes, to name a few.
It is estimated that more than 700,000 Israelis reside in settlements located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem which were established as part of colonial rule.