Over 100 olive trees belonging to Palestinians in a West Bank village have been found uprooted, its mayor said on Wednesday, blaming local Jewish settlers.
The Palestinian olive harvest season officially begins this week, and the period is often marked by increased tension between Palestinians and settlers, as well as settler attacks against olive trees and harvesters.
"The settlers uprooted 138 olive trees northwest of the village" of al-Mughayyir, north-east of Ramallah, mayor Faraj al-Naassaneh told AFP.
No one witnessed the attack, and Naassaneh said he was alerted to it by the Israeli army.
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A spokeswoman for the Israeli army told AFP the army discovered 110 uprooted olive trees at the site on Wednesday but that the damage appeared to be two days old.
On Tuesday, the mayor of the West Bank village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, accused settlers of uprooting 70 olive trees.
The Palestinian cabinet meeting this week "condemned... the terrorist attacks by settlers against Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest," noting "Qaryut, Al-Khader, Fartaa, Kufor Qaddum, Beitillo Al-Janieh, and Ras Karkar villages, where dozens of olive trees were cut down."
Figures released last year by the international aid group Oxfam show there are approximately 9.5 million olive trees in the West Bank, where olive farming is a vital source of revenue for Palestinian farmers.
In a good year, the olive harvest contributes around $100 million (77 million euros) in income to some of the poorest Palestinian communities.