RAMALLAH (Dispatches) – A group of Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive trees in the occupied West Bank were have been attacked by around 30 settlers, Palestinian officials say.
The attack, which comes amid an uptick in settler violence in recent months, began when Zionist settlers descended from a nearby settlement hurling stones and spraying pepper spray at Palestinian olive pickers near the town of Salfit, reported the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.
The Palestinian town’s authorities reported the attack in a posting on Facebook.
The settlers smashed cars and stole olives, as well as some of the belongings of one of the female pickers, the news agency said, quoting Youssef Hammouda, a local farmer.
In recent days, hard-line settlers have vandalized Palestinian property in what is known as “price-tag” attacks — retaliations against perceived efforts by the Zionist regime to limit settlement expansion.
Last month, dozens of Zionist settlers attacked a Bedouin village in the southern West Bank, smashing cars and homes and leaving several injured, including a Palestinian toddler who was hospitalized with head injuries.
Meanwhile, Palestine on Friday warned that the consequences of more settlement plans in al-Quds “will be dangerous,” the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA) reported.
“The Israeli plans to build hundreds of housing units for Israeli settlers in several illegal settlements surrounding the occupied Al-Quds are dangerous,” WAFA quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s office as saying.
These plans will “cut off the city from its Palestinian surroundings” and pose “a challenge to international law and international resolutions,” Abbas’s office said in a press statement.
The plans “contradict the signed agreements and the commitments repeatedly expressed by the U.S. in which it affirmed that it considers settlement expansion and unilateral measures an unacceptable act,” the statement added.
Chris MacManus, a member of European Parliament has asserted that the European Union (EU) cannot continue to remain silent as new data shows a sharp increase in the demolition of Palestinian homes by the occupying regime, Wafa News Agency reported on Friday.
“From January to August of this year, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 118 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Al-Quds,” MacManus announced in a statement.
“This represents a 38 percent increase when compared with the same period in 2020,” he said, pointing out that: “The data collected uses the term ‘structures’, but it must be realized that a significant number of these are family homes.”
He added: “The demolitions resulted in the displacement of 191 people, including 116 children. The destruction also included public buildings, leaving over 1,400 people without access to services.”
The MEP continued: “Israeli authorities try and hide behind the fact that the buildings did not have permission, but neglect to mention that only they have the authority to grant such permission and choose not to, which leaves Palestinian residents with no choice.”
MacManus stressed that “this is ethnic cleansing at its most basic level,” calling on EU leaders to stand up for the oppressed.