A Palestinian farmer says that a group of vandals from an Israeli settlement in the West Bank damaged dozens of olive trees as the annual harvest of the important crop begins.
Yasser Fukha said Saturday that 129 trees were destroyed. He said he saw residents of the nearby settlement Shavei Shomron driving near the farm and later found trees uprooted and damaged.
The incident came at the start of the 40-day olive harvest. For Palestinians the crop is more than a fruit to be consumed or sold, they view it as a symbol of their connection to the land. Every year they say settlers target their trees.
Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police are looking into the report. The military said forces were sent to the scene to investigate.
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