Official: Settlers block Nablus villagers from land

12:00 Oct 29 2011 Azmut

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of settlers accompanied by guard dogs blocked farmers from accessing olive tree groves near their Nablus village on Saturday morning, a Palestinian Authority official said.

PA settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas told Ma'an the clashes broke out between settlers from Elon Moreh and farmers from Azmut, east of Nablus.

No injuries were reported.

A family in neighboring village Beit Furik said Thursday that settlers blew up a room in their home and firebombed their jeep. A gas tank was dragged into the living room and set on fire, they said.

Parties are meeting in Nablus to form committees to protect homes, a Palestinian official said.

Israeli police, meanwhile, have opened an investigation into a separate incident in south Jerusalem in which right-wing activists were blamed for uprooting 20 olive trees.

Luba al-Samri, a police representative for Arabic media, said the settlers uprooted 20 trees in the Beit Safafa area of Jerusalem and left a banner with "price tag" written on it.

On Monday, the PA criticized settler assaults on Palestinians harvesting olives.

"Israeli violations against Palestinians and their property and livelihood continue to increase with little or no action by the Israeli authorities to hold people to account under the rule of law," a PA statement said.
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