Palestinian settlement monitoring authorities say a group of extremist Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinian olive farms in the north of the occupied West Bank.
Residents from the notorious Yitzhar settlement, near the city of Nablus, destroyed the trees in the village of Burin some 150 meters (yards) from their settlement on Thursday morning.
Palestinian official Ghassan Douglas, who holds the settlement portfolio for the northern West Bank, said the Israeli assailants destroyed 81 olive trees on the property of Akram Amran, Ma’an news agency reported.
Douglas condemned the destruction as ‘provocative and unacceptable’.
Yitzhar is among the most hardline settlements in the West Bank, whose ultra-Orthodox residents claim a God-given, biblical right to the land and frequently harass Palestinians living in the area.
This is while a rabbi who runs an Orthodox Jewish school in the settlement has endorsed the killing of any non-Jew, including children and babies, who pose a threat to Israel.
“Children should not be exempt from this fate. There is a reasonable explanation for killing infants if it is clear that they will grow up to hurt us, and in this situation, the strike should be directed at them,” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro advised in his book The King’s Torah.
The book includes endorsements from leading Jewish spiritual authorities in the West Bank.
Israeli activists acknowledge the extremist thinking in the book is quite widespread among settlers as a number of them have a deeply racist philosophy against any non-Jews, and especially against Palestinians and other Arabs.