Report based on source described as "a local activist"
March by right-wingers, escorted by police, on the Aqsa Mosque compound also reported
No comment yet from Israeli officials
The official Palestianian news agency is reporting that Israeli settlers have chopped down and seized about 800 Palestinian-owned olive trees near the town of Shuyukh, east of Hebron.
The report, by WAFA, the Palestine News & Information Agency, cited “a local source,” whom it did not identify. Israel has yet to comment on the report.
The source, described by WAFA as “a local activist,” told the agency that residents of the Israeli settlements of Bani Kadim and Asfar broke into an olive orchard near the town and chopped down the trees, which belonged to people who lived in the area.
Israel forces said not to protect Palestinians from violence
The news agency quoted the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem as saying that Israeli security forces do not always deploy in advance to protect Palestinians from settler violence, even when such violence can be anticipated.
“In some cases, rather than restricting violent settlers, Israeli security forces impose restrictions on the Palestinians,” the news report quoted the human rights group as saying.
There are over 500,000 Israeli settlers living in settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Many international leaders say the settlements hinder the chances of achieving a stable peace with two states, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, living side by side.
Incident at Aqsa Mosque also reported
Also Sunday, more than 175 right-wing Jewish extremists entered the Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, escorted by Israel police and security personnel, according to sources inside the mosque. The sources cannot be named for security reasons.
CNN is working to get Israeli comment on the assertion.
The report came as thousands of Israelis planned to march Sunday in Jerusalem’s Old City to commemorate what the Israeli government calls the unification of Jerusalem, Israel’s annexation of the eastern part of the city in 1967. The international community does not recognize the annexation.
The march – described by sources as being conducted by people from the extreme right, many of whom are from West Bank settlements – was considered provocative by many Palestinians.