Dozens of Israeli settlers protected by soldiers burned and damaged olive trees on Palestinian lands in the Yasuf village near Salfit in the northern West Bank on Friday, the second suck attack in the last two days.
Settlers from the Kfar Tappuah settlement set fire to and damaged several olive trees on Friday while Israeli soldiers in the area stood by watching, eyewitnesses said.
The lands that were attacked reportedly belonged to Nafiz and Issam Ali Mansour.
Issam Abu Bakr, mayor of Salfit, warned farmers against the “settlers’ attacks” and recommended residents work in groups in the lands close to nearby Jewish-only settlements.
The attack in Yasuf follows a similar incident Thursday near Aqraba, south of Nablus, where settlers from Itamar reportedly attacked dozens of Palestinian farmers and sought to steal their olive crop.
The attacks come as the 2014 olive harvest, a major source of income for Palestinian farmers, begins across the northern West Bank, and just weeks before harvesting begins across the south.
Attacks on the fall harvest are a key way that Palestinians are forced out of their homes and their lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year’s crop can signal destitution for many.