Settlers uproot olive trees in village south of Nablus, Palestinians say
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Settlers uproot olive trees in village south of Nablus, Palestinians say

Locals find Hebrew graffiti spray-painted on several trees, referencing recent steps taken by Defense Ministry against hilltop youth

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

One of the olive trees in the Palestinian village of Burin that was uprooted by Israeli settlers on September 13, 2017. Spray-painted on the trunk is the Hebrew for "administrative" in reference to the administrative orders issued against hilltop youth. (Courtesy)
One of the olive trees in the Palestinian village of Burin that was uprooted by Israeli settlers on September 13, 2017. Spray-painted on the trunk is the Hebrew for "administrative" in reference to the administrative orders issued against hilltop youth. (Courtesy)

In an apparent hate crime attack, 27 olive trees in the Palestinian village of Burin south of Nablus were uprooted by Israelis from a neighboring settlement, Palestinians said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday and was the second such attack in the Nablus area in under a week, with settlers uprooting an 43 trees last Friday, a Burin  resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Photos showed that a number of trees were spray painted with the Hebrew word, “administrative,” referencing the spike in administrative orders that the Defense Ministry has issued against dozens of far-right settler youth in recent months.

The Defense Ministry, under the advisement of the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police, signed off on a fresh batch of some 30 administrative orders last month.

One of the olive trees in the Palestinian village of Burin that was uprooted by Israeli settlers on September 13, 2017. Spray-painted on the trunk is the Hebrew for “administrative” in reference to the administrative orders issued against hilltop youth. (Courtesy)

Varying from detention, bans from entering the entire West Bank, bans on contacting certain individuals, or nighttime house arrest, the Shin Bet argues that they have helped substantially diminish the amount of hate crimes, notably “price-tag” attacks — offenses ostensibly carried out in retaliation for Israeli policies that are seen as unfriendly to radical settlers.

For the most part, the administrative orders against Israelis have targeted activists known as the “hilltop youth,” young people who move to settlement outposts, resist soldiers’ attempts to evacuate them, and have been known to carry out price-tag and other hate-crime attacks.

But the youth being targeted say that their rights are being trampled since the orders do not allow for due process.

Four of the of young far-right activists arrested last month for deliberately violating their respective administrative orders called on others to do the same, risking jail-time in doing so.

 

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