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Aggressive Settlers Set Fire to Palestinian Olive Trees

Tel, Nablus region

On Monday, August 27th, at 2pm, a family of seven settlers, headed by the father, Moshe Zohar, came down from their illegally built house next to the Qadumim settlement, on to Palestinian land and set fire to around 300 olive trees.

The Zohar family live in a house illegally built three years ago on the land of the Tel Village, with a military watchtower standing next door built at the same time. A year and a half ago an Israeli high court decision stated that the settlers of Qadumim must stay off the land of the Tel village and the Zohar family must leave their home. Around a thousand settlers from Qadumim came and successfully resisted attempts by the military to evict the Zohar family, and they still live there today.

When international human rights workers visited the village today, wednesday the 29th, it was this family that villagers told us cause all their problems. They said that when the smoke was visible from the village, the local sheikh spoke over the megaphone of the mosque to tell people to go help put out the fire and prevent more settler aggression. Around 150 villagers came but the military watchtower saw them approaching and the army was there in force when they arrived. The soldiers did nothing to the settlers, nothing to help put out the fire, the settlers left when the villagers came and the soldiers watched as the people put out the fire themselves. The land burned belongs to around 20 different families.

The aggression did not stop there however. The Zohar family later found a Palestinian shephard, a man from the Hebron region who took his sheep up to the Nablus region to find more green land and readily accessible water. The family held knives to his wrists and told
him that if he continued to stay here, they would cut off his hands before killing him. They stole all of his sheep (there were around 20) before leaving him there.