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Israeli settlers burn more Palestinian farms
07-13-2009, 02:35 AM,
Israeli settlers burn more Palestinian farms
Israeli settlers burn more Palestinian farms

Israel's illegal settlers in the West Bank have set fire to more than 120 hectares of Palestinian land, the Ministry of Agriculture says.

In a series of attacks since the spring, settlers have gone on the offensive, attacking Palestinian farmers particularly in villages surrounding the cities of Nablus and al-Khalil (Hebron), the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday.

The ministry issued a statement after settlers in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar set fire to more farmland on Sunday. The town's mayor said that large areas of olive, almond, and grape fields were reduced to ashes.

The statement also expressed concern over the recently-announced Israeli plans to confiscate another 13,900 hectares stretching from the eastern edge of Bethlehem to the Dead Sea -- including land in the villages of Al-Ubeidiya, Ar-Rashayida and At-Ta'amara -- and the area of Nabi Musa, which is to be annexed by the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim.

In spite of mounting pressure by the international community, the ministry noted that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the construction of 50 new housing units in the settlement of Adam, in addition to 300 houses in the settlement of Benyamin.

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