Settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar in the northern West Bank attacked a Palestinian family collecting olives on Saturday morning, a government official told Ma’an.Yitzhar is a religious Jewish village and the residents would not desecrate the Sabbath by chopping down any trees, so it is clear that these claims are lies.
Mayor Burin Ali Eid of the village of Burin, near Nablus, said a fight broke out when settlers “chopped down five olive trees” owned by the family.
Local Palestinian sources said that settlers cut down 15 olive trees in other Nablus-area attacks on farmers.
Sure enough, Arutz-7 reports something completely different:
Members of the security team in Yitzhar, in Samaria, spotted a group of Arab men entering an Arab olive grove near the Lehava neighborhood of the community Saturday morning. IDF soldiers were notified and arrived at the scene to question the men and ensure that they did not pose a danger to residents of Yitzhar. The soldiers were surprised to see that the group was busy cutting down olive trees.The IDF did not quite confirm the Yitzhar residents' story:
The men were cutting the trees in a "violent manner," soldiers said, explaining that they tried to show that there was damage to the trees instead of simply pruning them. They were apparently planning to accuse Jewish residents of Yitzhar of cutting down the Arab-owned trees, repeating accusations that have been made in recent years. The owner of the trees was not present and had not notified the army that he was planning to prune his grove, which Palestinian Authority farmers near Jewish towns are required to do.
Following Palestinian reports about clashes between settlers and Palestinian farmers near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, the IDF stated that the farmers arrived at the olive groves without the required permit.While it is hard to know exactly what happened, it is clear that the Palestinian Arab version is simply a lie, and if any olive trees were cut down on Saturday they were vandalized by Palestinian Arabs themselves.
The statement said that after the farmers arrived in the area to pick olives, settlers began to crowd around them. IDF soldiers arrived on the scene, fired in the air and separated between the rival groups, restoring calm.