Illegal Israeli settlers violently attack Palestinian olive farmers
Around 30 Israeli settlers on Friday violently attacked a group of Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive trees in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The attack, which left four people injured, began when Israeli settlers descended from a nearby settlement, hurling stones and spraying pepper spray at Palestinian olive pickers near the town of Salfit in the central West Bank.
The settlers smashed cars and stole olives, as well as some of the belongings of one of the female pickers, the news agency said, quoting Youssef Hammouda, a local farmer.
Settler attacks on Palestinians and their olive tree groves are common during the autumn harvesting season.
Over the years, Israel has unfailingly demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without legal permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.
In June, Israeli forces and settlers raided the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region with bulldozers and destroyed every single Palestinian house for the 189th time, making dozens of its residents homeless and many injured.
Israel has on several occasions ordered the Palestinian owners to raze down their own homes or shell out demolition costs to the local municipality.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
In April, US-based Human Rights Watch accused Israel of crimes against humanity by pursing policies of "apartheid" and persecution against Palestinians.
The word apartheid is often associated with South Africa. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.
The system was characterized by an authoritarian political culture based on white supremacy, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation's minority white population.