Palestinians from the village of Ur al-Tahta briefly blocked road 443 to Jerusalem on Tuesday to protest the uprooting of olive trees by settlers. Army forces called to the scene clashed with the protesters in an attempt to clear them from the road. The military used shock grenades and ultimately succeeded in clearing the road.
Soldiers drag Palestinian protesters from road 443 (Photo: Hamdi Abu Rahma)
Ur al-Tahta is located in the so-called “seam zone” in the West Bank’s Ramallah district.
Attacks by settlers on Palestinians picking olives are increasing as the olive-harvesting season reaches its height. The last two major attacks by army and settlers were registered on Friday.
Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers on Saturday from reaching their olive fields in Beit Ummar, a village near the West Bank city of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed on mountaintops overlooking the village and at its entrance after Beit Ummar residents organized their weekly protest against land confiscation. Residents of the village say the soldiers ordered dozens of farmers back, not allowing them to harvest their olives.
Also on Saturday settlers attacked farmers from Qaryout, a Palestinian village near Nablus. The farmers were picking olives. Earlier that day settlers set fire to dozens of olive trees in the same village.