Settlers burn 130 olive trees in northern West Bank

12:00 Sep 7 2012 Qaryut

QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers set fire to around 130 olive trees in a northern West Bank village on Friday, locals said.

Residents of Immanuel settlement set fire to the lands while residents were at Friday prayers, locals said.

Fawzi Al-Ghanem, owner of the land, told Ma'an that civil defense crews brought the blaze under control but only after his trees had been destroyed.

Israeli police also arrived on the scene, which is located adjacent to the Israeli settlement, he said.

Earlier Friday, residents of Eli settlement entered another village in the northern West Bank, Qaryut, torching olive and almond trees, villagers said.

On Wednesday, European Union representatives said they were concerned at the rising number and severity of "continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians."

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah called on Israel to prevent settler violence, protect Palestinians, and bring perpetrators to justice.
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