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Israeli settlers chop off 200 grape trees near Bethlehem

Extremist Jewish settlers today chopped off about 200 grape trees belonging to a Palestinian farmer in the village of al-Khader, near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, witnesses said.

Imad Dadou, a local activist who monitors violations by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers, said that settlers broke into a grape-planted grove belonging to a Palestinian villager from al-Khader, before proceeding to chop off about 200 trees there.

Dadou said this was the second attack by settlers on the village since yesterday, when a group of settlers forced their way into another ranch and smashed dozens of grape trees that belong to local villagers.

Settler violence is commonplace across the occupied West Bank, and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities as the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction over Israeli settlers.

Palestinians and rights groups have repeatedly blamed Israel for fostering a “culture of impunity” for Jewish settlers committing acts of violence against Palestinians.

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