Settlers uproot 100 olive trees, woman starts hunger strike in protest at unchecked violence
Settlers ‘chop down 100 olive trees’ in Nablus
NABLUS — Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees belonging to Palestinians south of Nablus on Friday evening, a PA official said.
The group tore down the produce in the valley neighboring the Tappuah settlement, between Yaduf and Jamain villages, Palestinian Authority official monitoring settlement activity Ghassan Doughlas said.
Another group of settlers smashed two vehicles belonging to Palestinians in the same area on Friday night, Doughlas added.
Cars belonging to Abdul-Rahman Muhammad Abdul-Rahman and Hasan Wasif Asayra, both from Asira al- Shamaliya, were vandalized on the main road between Huwwara village and Israeli settlement Yitzhar.
Doughlas had on Monday urged Palestinians to take care on the Ramallah-Nablus highway, warning of revenge acts after Israeli forces took down four trailers at an illegal settlement outpost in the area.
Extremist settlers have launched a campaign of “price tag” attacks, targeting Palestinians and their property in retaliation for perceived anti-settler actions by the Israeli government.
Settler attacks in the West Bank against Palestinians increased by more than 50 percent in 2011, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
By Mya Guarnieri, 972 mag
According to the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), Hana Abu Haikel has gone on hunger strike on behalf of her family to protest both settler violence and the Israeli army’s failure to stop settler attacks on Palestinians and their property. CPT reports that the Abu Haikel family has filed 500 complaints against settlers and have received no response from Israeli authorities.
Settlers pelted the Abu Haikel’s home in Hebron with stones this weekend and set fire to the family car. It was the eighth car the Abu Haikels have lost to settler violence.
The hunger strike began on Monday, January 16. The family has also decorated their ruined car with Palestinian flags and signs that read, “We are here not to upset, and not to make anyone happy… We are here because we are here…”
The Abu Haikel family has been confronted with a wide variety of settler harrassment and attacks. Settlers have cut their fence and entered their garden; damaged their home with pipes at night; and have burned their olive trees.
The CPT maintains a presence in Hebron and, among other activities, monitors the Israeli army’s treatment of Palestinians.